Distinguished Lecture – Toward carbon-neutral electricity and mobility: Is the grid infrastructure ready?

Organized by the IEEE PES SBC at The University of Mancheste

On Tuesday, 9th May 2023, the highly anticipated IEEE PES Distinguished Lecture Program (DLP) titled “Toward Carbon-Neutral Electricity and Mobility: Is the Grid Infrastructure Ready?” was delivered by the renowned Professor Le Xie. The online lecture, held via Zoom at 16:00 am BST, proved to be a highly informative and insightful event.

Professor Le Xie, a Fellow of IEEE, and a PES Distinguished Lecturer, holds esteemed positions including the Segers Family Dean’s Excellence Professor, Chancellor EDGES Fellow, and Presidential Impact Fellow at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University. He also serves as the Associate Director-Energy Digitization at the esteemed Texas A&M Energy Institute.

The talk, effectively organized and hosted by The University of Manchester IEEE PES SBC, captivated a large and enthusiastic audience. With 78 registrations and a peak audience of 42 participants, the lecture garnered significant interest from professionals and researchers in the field.

Figure 1 The poster of Distinguished Lecturer Program

Professor Le Xie‘s presentation was a treasure trove of the latest developments and challenges in the realm of distributed energy resources and smart grids. Drawing from his extensive research projects and collaborations with industry partners, he shared valuable insights and practical solutions. A particular highlight was his model-free approach, which utilizes neural networks and historical smart meter data to calculate voltages and DER hosting capacity. Attendees were impressed by the efficiency and effectiveness of this innovative method in addressing voltage issues caused by various sources such as residential solar PV, batteries, and electric vehicles.

Moreover, Professor Le Xie‘s passion for a climate-safe future fuelled by clean and resilient power technologies inspired the audience. He raised thought-provoking research questions, encouraging collaboration among colleagues to explore the road to carbon-neutral electricity and mobility.

Figure 2 Prof. Le Xie proposing some research questions regarding the ‘Carbon-neutral electricity and mobility’

The lecture also emphasized the significance of power grid infrastructure in achieving a carbon-neutral future. Professor Le Xie cited the lessons learned from the 2021 Texas outage, highlighting the need for additional high-voltage DC lines to strengthen the grid. He also advocated for strategic energy storage reserves, emphasizing their importance alongside traditional oil reserves for ensuring a safe and robust electric supply network.

Figure 3. Prof. Le Xie took the experience and lesson of 2021 Texas outage as an example

In his concluding remarks, Professor Le Xie reiterated the importance of the electric grid and electrification in the transition to carbon neutrality. He invited further collaboration to address the unanswered questions and expressed his excitement for the forthcoming era. The engaging Q&A session allowed participants to interact directly with Professor Le Xie, who even extended a friendly invitation to visit Texas for a BBQ.

Figure 4. The summary of the presentation

The University of Manchester IEEE PES SBC organizing committee expresses their sincere gratitude to Professor Le Xie for delivering an extraordinary talk. For additional information, including Professor Le Xie’s biography and the abstract of the lecture, please visit the Manchester PES SBC website.

     Shuai Wang
     IEEE PES Student Branch Chapter at the University of Manchester