Anil Pahwa (F’03) received the B.E. (honors) degree in electrical engineering from BITS-Pilani, India, in 1975, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from University of Maine, Orono, in 1979, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 1983. Since 1983, he has been with Kansas State University, Manhattan, where presently he is University Distinguished Professor and holds the Logan-Fetterhoof Chair in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. The National Academy selected him as a Jefferson Science Fellow in 2014 to serve as a Senior Science Advisor in the U.S. State Department for one year. He worked in the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau on international policies to facilitate higher deployment of renewable energy. His research interests include distribution automation, distribution planning, renewable energy integration into power systems, and intelligent computational methods for distribution system applications.

Keynote Speech: A View into the 21st Century Power Systems

Abstract:The power grid has evolved from Edison’s first electric grid in 1882, which provided sufficient electricity to 59 customers to light one lamp each in one-square-mile area, to today’s that provides electricity to millions of people around the world. The National Academy of Engineers named electrification as the number one engineering achievement of the 20th century in 2002. While the grid become a complex machine in the 20th century, it suffered from collapse and blackouts. The concept of smart grid evolved in the wake of several blackouts, such as the one of 2003 in the Northeast USA. The basic idea is to leverage progress in communications, computing, sensors, and power electronics to make the grid more reliable, resilient, efficient, and flexible. Integration of these technologies also allows larger penetration of renewable energy resources, both large and small scale. Continued innovation and integration of these technologies will have unprecedented effects on the grid and the digital grid of the 21st century will be very different from the grid of today. Some possible scenarios suggest that customers will be more engaged. They will own electric vehicles, and will have generation and energy storage in homes. There could be real-time prices and market at the distribution level. Implementation of artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning techniques, and advanced power electronics will enhance real-time control and operation of system both in normal and emergency states to improve efficiency and resiliency. The system will rely less on fossil fuels and battery storage will be widespread. This presentation will provide a brief history of power systems and some projections for the 21st century power system.