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Image for learning opportunity Virtual grid – reality of the sustainable future

Virtual grid – reality of the sustainable future

Virtual grid – reality of the sustainable future

How can we develop a service-based market product to define the grid of tomorrow?

Our challenge

By the year 2050, an extraordinary transformation in energy generation is expected: Lithuania is forecasted to produce 74 TWh of electricity annually, all from renewable energy sources – a leap from the current 4.3 TWh! This isn’t just a national change, it reflects a global shift towards sustainable energy. However, the challenge aims to address a significant issue: electricity transmission networks must become stronger and more flexible to handle this increase. This is where your innovative thinking comes into play. In this challenge, you'll delve into the concept of a virtual electricity transmission grid. This innovative approach not only allows for more efficient control of energy flows through smart utilisation of flexible generators, consumers, and energy storage devices. Additionally, by acting as an ancillary tool, it will help us reduce the use of fossil fuels for electricity production and protect nature from the construction of new power lines. Your task is to explore this idea further, addressing questions from technical feasibility to its integration into energy and system service markets. Participating in this challenge is an opportunity to impact the future of energy, turning innovative ideas into solutions for a sustainable, renewable world.

Study format
Application period
6 January – 25 February 2024
Study period
4 March – 3 June 2024
Hosting university
Kaunas University of Technology
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Learning outcomes

Pinpoint research direction

Self-sufficiently pinpoint a unique and impactful research direction, utilizing existing knowledge and acquired competencies.


Tackle real-world issues

Innovatively tackle complex real-world issues using the core tenets of challenge-based learning methodology.


Utilise teamwork and leadership principles

Utilise effective teamwork and leadership principles while collaborating within diverse, interdisciplinary teams.


Create and present ideas and prototypes

Create and effectively present innovative ideas and developed prototypes tailored to the requirements of unique audience.


Potential progress

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Advancing Grid Reliability and Efficiency
We are Litgrid – the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator (TSO), responsible for maintaining a reliable and secure operation of the high-voltage transmission grid. Our expertise lies not only in ensuring a steady flow of electricity from generators to distribution networks, but also in offering innovative electricity market products and services. These services support the overall functioning of the energy and system service markets and help maintain grid reliability.
Traditionally, expanding the electricity transmission network involved building stronger lines and larger, more robust substations. However, with the advent of distributed generation, it has become evident that these standard methods can’t keep pace with the ever-increasing demand. Today’s technology offers new solutions that utilize existing infrastructure – allowing us to meet the demand, while reducing environmental footprint.

Unveiling the Vision of a Virtual Electricity Transmission Grid
A virtual electricity transmission grid would significantly ease grid congestions by optimizing the generation and transmission of electricity from various energy resources. This could be achieved by controlling and dispatching a mix of energy resources dynamically, implementing demand response programs, using energy storage devices, and applying predictive analytics. But the success of this vision hinges on understanding its economic viability: What are the economic incentives for transitioning to a virtual grid? Who stands to benefit, and how? As a TSO, what role do we play in this transformative journey? And crucially, how will this shift affect our CO2 footprint and contribute to sustainable energy practices? By participating in this challenge, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the future power system operation. We invite you to prepare a virtual grid concept document that highlights the technical, operational and control requirements, as well as the economic drivers that could push this service-based market product into reality. This is more than a challenge, it's an opportunity to be at the forefront of an energy revolution, shaping a sustainable and efficient future.

Hosting university

Kaunas University of Technology

Kaunas University of Technology

Challenge provider