(Evolutionary) Game Theory for understanding green energy support schemes: The Smart Grid Game

 

Context 

The smart grid (SG) is a visionary project for a scalable, sustainable electricity grid, with a bi-directional information and energy flow, real-time management and self-healing capacities.

Renewable energy sources (RES) have become a key component in the race for a cleaner electricity grid. Governments all around the world are implementing various support schemes (e.g., feed-in-tariffs, net-metering, green certificates, investment aids) to promote the generation and injection of green energy. However, transitioning from an electricity consumer towards a prosumer (producer + consumer) implies certain economical risks.

 

Goal 

You will analyze and model the decision making of becoming a prosumer under various support schemes, as a game, borrowing concepts from game theory. We call this The Smart Grid Game. The outcome of your work is vital to understand the incentives of becoming a residential green energy producer and the impact different policies have on the short and long term. You will be able to provide answers to research questions, such as: “From which point onwards it is no longer profitable to become a prosumer?”

In addition to the above modeling (or as an alternative to it) you will study how evolutionary game theory can be applied to the above scenario to investigate prosumer density inside a neighbourhood at equilibrium, again under various support policies. You will investigate vital questions, such as: “Should everyone install solar panels? or “Is there an ‘optimal’ density of prosumers?”

 

Contact:

Roxana Rădulescu

Mihail Mihaylov

 

Resources

De Boeck, Liesje, et al. "Comparison of support policies for residential photovoltaic systems in the major EU markets through investment profitability." Renewable Energy 87 (2016): 42-53.

Easley, D., & Kleinberg, J. (2010). Evolutionary game theory. From the Book, Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World, 209-227. (http://ihome.ust.hk/~nying/files/math4321_14_spring/ref8.pdf)

Sigmund, K. (2010). The calculus of selfishness. Princeton University Press.  (http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s9241.pdf)