Involving the society and providing sufficient training for the current and future workforce regarding flexible smart grids is a key factor in the EU energy transition process. SMAGRINET has been set out to fulfill one simple task – make the knowledge of smart grids a common knowledge throughout Europe.
In 2018 EU member states produced in total around 3000 TWh of electricity and 35% of it was produced by green energy production units. It is a considerable amount of energy but for the EU to actually realize the Paris Agreement, further efforts must be done by individual member states and their energy industry. This of course means that the need for electrical engineers, who are comfortable with the energy transition and flexible grids, is on the rise. Proper training has to be implemented when new technology options become available.
SMAGRINET has developed the first set of our POWER ON services that aim to empower smart grid implementation by improving the skills of the current industries’workforce and by capacitating academic organisations with the courses needed for smart grid implementation.
Thanks to the efficient work led by Christine Michalek, M.Sc. from Technical University Berlin and Emilija Zimkute from Kaunas Technical University - the first pilot courses will already start from January 2020 at some of our SMAGRINET piloting universities. The courses provide a universally applicable material regarding the smart grid in general, the economical aspects and societal issues. In short – the full package that is expected from future smart grid engineers will be provided. After or even during the piloting phase, universities are more than welcome to implement the modules at their universities. Within SMAGRINET we will implement a train-the-trainers´ program aimed at the education of local experts in order to expand the project and perform the teaching of modules at numerous EU universities.
Complementary to the modules the SMAGRINET international mobility program led by Tõnis Vare from the Union of Electricity Industries of Estonia, allows students to gain the possibility to participate in traineeships at international enterprises.
In addition to the future engineers - the shift in our collective societal thinking regarding the energy transition has to be made. Some renewable generation units are unfortunately variable regarding their production mode and that is due to the simple fact that they are dependent on natural weather events. These obstacles and challenges can be overcome with the smart grid and flexible technologies but this comes with financial obligations for the electricity grid. In order to use suitable technologies, investments must to be made and due to the principle of equality regarding grid tariffs – the whole society has to accept the need for these technologies and moraly grant the grids to make these investments. It is vital that people who are not familiar with the technical aspects of grid technologies are familiar with the principles of the solutions that the grid companies will be investing into and understand the need for these investments. Only by educating the broader public we can ensure that the green energy integration will be quick and efficient.
SMAGRINET will achieve this by taking the concentrated versions of the modules and package them in the form of short-term blended learning programmes led by Kévin Berger and Laurent Dupont from Université de Lorraine . These packages are aimed specifically for the already existing engineering workforce and the broader public and will be available starting from 2020.
The project team wants to make sure that the provided educational content is topical and is something that the stakeholders are actually expecting from universities and projects like SMAGRINET in general. Thanks to the lead by Olga Kyselova and Anja Jannack from Technical University Dresden, SMAGRINET has set up a comprehensive map of stakeholders from where we are able to periodically pool for market and societal needs which we are then able to reflect against our material to ensure that we meet the stakeholders future expectations.
With the help of Anneli Roose from CIVITTA, you are able to come and directly speak with us and connect with energy market stakeholders at one of our SMAGRINET network building workshops which will take place in 2020.