Keynote Speakers

Professor Antonello Monti, RWTH Aachen, Germany

Professor Antonello Monti, RWTH Aachen, Germany

Making the Physical Layer Really Digital: Energy Packets

The term internet of energy has been widely used in the last few years. In reality, though, the term refers only to the possibility of using internet technology for control functions. On the other hand, the progressive application of power electronics to power systems opens the possibility to extend digital paradigms all the way to the physical layer.

For this reason, it makes sense to explore how the principle of operation of modern communication networks could inspire a complete review of how the power flow really happens. In a nutshell, can we imagine a real energy internet? Can we foresee a transformation of the energy system similar to that one of the communication networks driven by the Internet Protocol? This transformation deals fundamentally with two ingredients: abstraction and asynchronous operations. Can these two ingredients have a role also in energy systems? Different research groups have been investigating in this direction coming to propose a concept of energy packet, similar to the idea of information packets in communication systems.

The presentation analyses the implication and options opened by such a paradigm trying to show why it makes sense at least to consider a packet-based energy network. Some preliminary experimental results are also used to support the statements and to illustrate at the same time the most important future challenges.


Antonello Monti received his M.Sc degree (summa cum laude) and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy in 1989 and 1994 respectively. He started his career in Ansaldo Industria and then moved in 1995 to Politecnico di Milano as Assistant Professor. In 2000 he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of South Carolina (USA) as Associate and then Full Professor. Since 2008 he is the director of the Institute for Automation of Complex Power System within the E.ON Energy Research Center at RWTH Aachen University. Dr. Monti is author or co-author of more than 300 peer-reviewed papers published in international Journals and in the proceedings of International conferences. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, Associate Editor of the IEEE System Journal, Associate Editor of IEEE Electrification Magazine, Member of the Editorial Board of the Elsevier Journal SEGAN and member of the founding board of the Springer Journal “Energy Informatics”. Dr. Monti is the recipient of the 2017 IEEE Innovation in Societal Infrastructure Award.


Professor Marc Timme, TU Dresden, Germany

Professor Marc Timme, TU Dresden, Germany

Braess’ Paradox in Transmission System Planning

Robust electricity supply fundamentally underlies every aspect of daily life. It is thus essential to carefully plan and design electric power grids to be able to operate them in a stable and robust manner. The share of power provided through renewable energy sources increases, offering production through smaller and more distributed plants that generate more stronger frequency fluctuatiions and yield more networked systems than with fossil-based plants. Collective dynamical features thus play an increasing important role for the design and operation of power grid networks. For instance, although adding transmission lines is commonly believed to make grids more stable and robust, such an assumption is short-sighted.

Here we report Braess paradox in AC power grids, resulting in additional lines being harmful to the operation or even making operation entirely impossible. We clarify the mechanisms underlying Braess paradox rooted in both distributed flow patterns and geometric frustration due to cycle conditions on phase-angles. Current results point towards intuitive and simple ways to predict which links potentially cause Braess paradox. Related findings on collective grid dynamics hint on non-local responses, non-Gaussian frequency fluctuations and dezentralized control options.

This is work with Dirk Witthaut, Debankha Manik and others.


Having studied physics and applied mathematics at the University of Würzburg and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, Marc Timme gained his doctorate with distinction (summa cum laude) in Theoretical Physics at the University of Göttingen. After two research stays at the Max Planck Institute for Flow Research and at the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell University (USA), he was appointed one of four scientists in Germany to head a Max Planck Research Group at the Max Planck Society’s chemical, physical and technical section. Consequently, he established a broadly cross-disciplinary research group on Network Dynamics at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen. Shortly afterwards, Marc Timme became an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Nonlinear Dynamics at the University of Göttingen; he is Co-Chair of the Division of Socio-Economic Physics of the German Physical Society (DPG) since 2014, Visiting Professor at TU Darmstadt and Visiting Faculty at ETH Zurich.

His research interests cover the collective dynamics of networks from biology to engineering. He was awarded a Research Prize of the Berliner Ungewitter Foundation, the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, and a Research Fellowship of the National Research Center of Italy. In 2017, he was appointed a Strategic Professorship bridging the Cluster of Excellence Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed) and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at TU Dresden, where he now heads the Chair for Network Dynamics (



Jens Griesing, Energy Web Foundation, Germany

Jens Griesing, Grid Singularity, Germany

Blockchain in the Energy Sector

There are three major trends in the energy market today: Decentralization, Decarbonization and Democratization. How does blockchain technology enable these three trends? There are currently various problems and inefficiencies in the current grids, such as slow acceptance of renewable energy due to economical, technical and regulatory hurdles, increasing complexity of electricity markets, massive power outages from natural events and rural area electrification challenges. What are the current pain points of the various market players in these changing environments? How can these pain points be addressed by technology such as block chain? In order to find answers to these question one may focus on various aspects:

  1. Core infrastructure for the critical energy sector
  2. Governance of the infrastructure
  3. Eco-System to enable a decentralized system
  4. Implemented use case
Examples of the four aspects will be given.


Energy Web Foundation (EWF)

Jens Griesing helped to establish the Energy Web blockchain based test network code named Tobalaba. He now serves as the Product Owner for the EWF Origin dAPP, the first App on top Energy Web managing certificates of Origin. Jens holds a master in business administration and computer science. With this backgrounds he loves to bridge the gap between business requirements and technical solutions and often works as a translator between the two. After he started a small company while in college he worked as an IT consultant in Germany and the U.S.A. and is a trained, certified and experienced IT project manager both in classical and agile methods for IT infrastructure and software product development.

Energy Web Foundation


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