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The future of hydroelectric power

Abolfazl Khodadadi on his research

Abolfazl Khodadadi to the right
Published Dec 06, 2022

Abolfazl Khodadadi's research on the planning and operation of hydropower plants resulted in winning a best paper award. Ultimately, the doctoral student aims to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies to EU citizens.

Abolfazl Khodadadi is a doctoral student at the Division of electric power and energy systems (EPE) and recently won the best paper award at the IEEE ISGT Asia conference in Singapore. We took the opportunity to talk to him about his research.  

The planning and operation of hydropower plants  

Sweden and many other countries are moving towards an electricity system with a large proportion of solar and wind power. These types of energy have varying production patterns and need continuous balancing in an appropriate market. The balancing occurs in Sweden and the Nordic region, preferably with hydropower.

However, the occurrence of imbalances caused by variations in wind power and electricity consumption does not necessarily coincide with the allocation of hydropower plants in those areas. Thus, the hydropower must be appropriately transferred across the grid. 

A challenge in this context is how to design the market in detail and how the hydropower plant owners will run their works.  

“In this research, I proposed a flexible approach to model the planning and operation of hydropower plants. In this method, the operator of each stage can define their specific objective functions to maximise their expected revenues when participating in the day-ahead and balancing markets,” Abolfazl explains.  

Hydroelectric power in a competitive market

There is an excellent opportunity in the future that hydroelectric power can positively contribute to the regulatory work that is needed.  

“However, with greater volatility in production with high penetration of renewable energy production and great opportunities for governance, it is essential to find out how hydropower will contribute and get paid in a competitive electricity market,” he continues.  

Ultimately, it will benefit the market electricity price and the consumer’s wallet.  

“Having this stage completed would be beneficial for hydropower plant owners to make the proper strategy and increase their revenue. The appropriate method for hydropower plants would increase their income, impacting the electricity price in the market.” 

Aims to tackle the ongoing energy challenges  

In five years, Abolfazl sees himself working to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies to EU citizens.  

“I have always been passionate about the electricity markets and how they impact society. Thus, I want to continue my effort to find a proper way to design new electricity markets to meet the ongoing challenges in the energy sector. Implementing an EU energy market is the most cost-effective way to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies to EU citizens. I aim to be a part of this action in the future,” he concludes.  

The published paper