488501S Smart grids 1: Integrating Renewable Energy Sources, 5 ECTS

Advanced course for MSc or PhD students in environmental engineering, economics or electrical engineering
5(-6) ECTS / 150 (175) hours of work

Language of instruction: English

Timing: Period 2

Learning outcomes: The student is able to explain the concept of smart grids, the evolution of smart grids from electricity power grids, the information technology requirements as well as the economic, environmental and social implications of smart grids. The student will know the expectations from smart grids and is able to outline the future perspectives of smart grid-based energy systems.

Contents: Multidisciplinary course, offered in cooperation of the Faculty of Technology (Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit - EEE), Oulu Business School (OBS, Department of Economics) and the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (Centre of Wireless Communication - CWC). After an introductory presentation on the requirements, the background is set on the energy and environmental crisis, the co-evolution of energy and information systems and outlining the transition to a smarter system. Further, lectures on smart grids will be provided from an electrical engineering and information technology view on the evolution of electricity power grids, power generation transmission and distribution; distributed generation and futures of smart grids. From an environmental engineering point of view, lectures will be delivered on energy systems fundamentals, climate goals and decarbonization, as well as on the sustainability of smart grids will in particular the environmental and social impacts of smart grids. From economics points of view, lectures will be given on the liberalization and deregulation of the electricity market, electricity pricing, transmission and distribution as natural monopolies, smart grids and new market mechanisms, and the economic impacts of large scale integration of renewable energy sources. Participation on lectures is not compulsory, but students are to write an on-line learning diary and answer to problem sets.  As an exercise, students will be given a group work assignment that they are to work with throughout the duration of the course with the help of mentors. The subjects of the exercise is achieving climate goals and the future of energy systems.

Mode of delivery: Implemented as face-to-face teaching and student seminar. The course largely relies on participatory learning, therefore, there are compulsory participation requirements.

Learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures 32 h / student presentations 8 h, Guided group work: 8 h, individual home work 60 h (85 h)/group work 42 h.

Target group: Master’s students of environmental engineering, especially of energy and environmental engineering orientation; Master’s students in economics; Master’s students of Electrical Engineering and Information Techology.

Prerequisities and co-requisites: For Environmental Engineering students, admission to the Master's programme, for which minimally a former bachelor's degree is required. For other students the Bachelor level studies.

Study materials: Stephen F. Bush (2014): Smart Grid: Communication-Enabled Intelligence for the Electric Power Grid. Additional lecture materials provided by course lecturers, on-line platform, course syllabus and video guidelines.

Assessment methods and criteria: On-line learning portfolio, problem solving exercises and group exercise. Compulsory requirements are completing learning portfolio, answering of at least 75% of problem questions, participation in 50% of intermediate presentations and compulsory participation in the final presentation.

Grading: The course evaluation will be based on an on-line learning portfolio, performance in the exercise participation and self-evaluation. The course unit utilizes a numerical grading scale 1-5. In the numerical scale, zero stands for a fail.

Person responsible: Prof. Eva Pongrácz; other lecturers: EEE: Dr. Antonio Caló, Jean-Nicolas Louis; OBS: Prof. Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen, Enni Ruokamo, Santtu Karhinen; CWC: Dr. Jussi Haapola

Other information: The number of students is limited to 40

Lecture and exercise times: Weeks 44-51, lectures Tuesdays 12-14 and Wednedays 10-12, and exercise Fridays 14-16.

Registartion: Registration for the 2018 course is closed


(all lectures in IT 112)

Week 44

30.10., 12.15-14  - Lecture 1 (Eva Pongrácz):

  • Course intro, what are smart grids and what are they supposed to do?

31.10., 10.15-12 - Lecture 2 (Antonio Caló): 

  • Power vs. energy, units, quantities and conversion

2.11., 14.15-16 - Exercise:

  • Decarbonization intro lecture and exercise presentation

Week 45

6.11., 12.15-14 - Lecture 3 (Eva Pongrácz):

  • The power system

7.11., 10.15-12 - Lecture 4 (Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen):

  • Introduction to the Energy market

9.11., 14.15-16, (Eva Pongrácz):

  • Exercise, Stage 1: Current status of the Energy system

Week 46

13.11., 12.15-14 - Lecture 5 (Antonio Caló):

  • Power from renewables, intro to intermittance

14.11., 10.15-12 - Lecture 6 (Jean-Nicolas Louis):

  • Renewables in the energy mix
  • Demand response

17.11., 14.15-16, - Lecture 7 (Enni Ruokamo):

  • Carbon pricing

Week 47

20.11., 12.15-14 - Lecture 8; (Antonio Caló):

  • Energy and information

21.11., 10.15-12 - Lecture 9 (Jussi Haapola):

  • Basics of communication 1: Data communication in smart grids

23.11., 14.15-16 - Exercise:

Exercise stage 2: 2050 vision

Week 48

27.11., 12.15-14 - Lecture 10 (Jussi Haapola):

  • Basics of communication 2: 5G and energy

28.11., 10.15-12 - Lecture 11 (Santtu Karhinen):

  • Large scale integration of renewable energy sources

30.11., 14.15-16 - Exercise:

Exercise stage 3: Economics

Week 49

4.12., 12.15-14 - Lecture 12 (Jean-Nicolas Louis):

  • Environmental impact of renewables

5.12., 14.15-16 - Lecture 13 (Eva Pongrácz):

  • Sustainability of smart grids - Are renewables always sustainable?

7.12., 14.15-16 - Exercise:

Exercise stage 4: Impact on consumers

Week 50

11.12., 10.15-12 - Lecture 14 (Jean-Nicolas Louis):

  • Microgrids

Week 51

18.12, 12.15-14: Student presentations

19.12., 10.15-12: Student presentations



1. Answer probem questions

  • After each lecture, 1-3 questions will be posted, which you need to answtr within a week
  • You will need to answer satsaifactorily at least 75% of the questions
  • Mind that not answered or failed questions will be marked as 0
  • The average of scores of questions will part determine you course grades

2. Exercise

  • The exercise is compulsory and is done in a group of 4 - groups need to be formed by 7.11.
  • There are 4 exercise related intermediate sessions: 9.11., 23.11., 30.11. and 7.12.
    • You need to be present on at least 2 of the 4 sessions
    • Your team needs to be represented in each of the sessions to report group progress
  • The results of the exercise will have to be presented on either 18.12. or 19.12.
    • You will have to be present in your team's presentation
  • A final report on the exercise will have to be submitted by 20.12.




Last updated: 7.11.2018