The Global Need for Technical Teaching Materials to Support Power System Transformation
G-PST Pillar 3 focuses on workforce development to enable power system transformation. This involves expanding public access to technical training materials at both the university and professional development levels. The G-PST Teaching Agenda identified ninety topics deemed essential for power system transformation, which will need to be addressed in post-graduate education and training programs to adequately prepare the power system workforce of the future.
In-depth teaching materials for five cutting-edge power system topics are now available and can be accessed by filling out the form below. The first four topics were developed in collaboration with Women in Power System Transformation (PST), a joint initiative from the USAID-NREL partnership, and the G-PST Consortium to expand leadership and technical training opportunities for women in the power sector. Learn more about how this initiative is empowering women to enact transformative change.
The four topics developed with the Women in PST initiative include course content and student exercises that are critical to operating high variable renewable energy (VRE) power systems. All four technical topics are designed and taught by women professionals and experts. Additionally, technical teaching materials can be accompanied by introductory learnings on gender equity and inclusion to help train and inspire the diverse workforce of the future. Read more below about how to introduce gender-diverse teaching materials and best practices within your classroom or organization.
Inspiring and Empowering Women to Lead Transformative Change
As we collectively work to address the global climate crisis, women leaders and decision-makers are essential to achieving successful, inclusive, and equitable clean energy transitions. When women are empowered to bring their unique skills and experiences to bear across key power sector institutions, they strengthen decision-making, accelerate innovation, and drive dynamic solutions to meet urgent global challenges. Women in PST encourages universities, faculty, and professors to stream these videos on social media, websites, and in the classroom to encourage and empower women to pursue engineering and technical degrees for transformative change.
The Graduate-level Course Topics
Materials for each topic consists of approximately 3-5 hours of recorded lectures, as well as supporting lecture slides and student exercises/assessments. G-PST course materials for additional topics will be posted on this page as they become available.
|Declining System Inertia and Dynamic Reserve Requirements
This topic covers the impact of declining power system inertia due to rising shares of inverter-based resources (IBRs) on the grid, determining minimum inertia needs, and methods to monitor and maintain sufficient inertia. The important interplay between system inertia and frequency control mechanisms is explained to help strike the right balance between minimum inertia and faster / slower frequency response reserves based on the characteristics of individual power systems.
Chief Engineer, Energy System Integration Group
|Power System Stability with 100% Inverter-Based Resources (IBR)
This topic discusses the impact of rising levels of IBRs on power system stability. First, key characteristics of IBRs affecting the robustness of power systems and their effects on power system control and stability are identified. Then, the control challenges and stability problems encountered in a weak (low short-circuit level), low-inertia power systems with high shares of IBRs are covered together with the solutions that have been put forward thus far.
|Stability and Protection||Claudia Rahmann
Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Chile and Director of the Solar Energy Research Center of Chile
|Impacts of Electric Vehicles on Power Systems
This topic covers the challenges and remedies around integration of electric vehicles (EVs) to the grid, including current global efforts, projections, regulation, and policies in different countries. This course is focused on modeling issues, commercial software for EV integration studies, underlying mechanism and root-cause analysis, and potential synergy between variable renewable energy resources and EV integration.
|Active Distribution Networks and Microgrids||Edvina Uzunovic
Assistant Teaching Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and IEEE Committee Volunteer
|Network Planning and Pricing to Support Net-Zero Transition
This topic revisits current practices in network pricing across transmission and distribution (T&D) systems. The Great Britain system is used as an example to illustrate key differences in principles between T&D systems, evolution over time to accommodate growing variable renewable generation, impact on network users at different locations, and differing generation technologies. Ongoing reforms to harmonize pricing across transmission and distribution are highlighted.
|Markets and Investment||Furong Li
Director of Centre for Sustainable Power Distribution at the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Bath
|Modular Multilevel Converters (MMC) High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC)
This topic covers operation and control of MMCs for HVDC transmission. A simplified MMC is used first to analyse the characteristic dynamics and the operating limits of the converter. Next, the design of the control loops of the MMC is discussed, emphasizing the main design challenges and trade-offs. The performance of the MMC is demonstrated using a detailed dynamic model and an averaged model that is compatible with large-scale power system simulation models. An overview of the state-of-the-art in MMC and ongoing research and development is provided at the end.
|HVDC Transmission||Adrià Junyent Ferré
Senior Lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London
How to Use the Materials
Lecture recordings and supporting materials are designed to be easily adopted into existing curriculum for instruction in a virtual or hybrid classroom format to supplement an existing module with an additional topic. They can also be used for practitioner-level technical training programs or self-upskilling. All documents are downloadable, and the associated instructional videos can be downloaded for streaming in a classroom or individual use. With four of the five topics created by women, Women in PST recommends pairing this material with training on gender equality to encourage the participation of women in traditionally male-dominated professions or fields of study.
University faculty, students, human resources, managers, and practitioners can leverage the USAID Engendering Industries Workforce Gender Equality Accelerated Program prerequisite materials and course foundational resources to learn more about advancing gender equity and diversity within universities and industry.
The Women in PST team would like to understand the impact of this work, including how many students instructors inspect to train with the teaching materials and an estimation of gender representation. If you would like to contribute to quantifying the impact of this work, please participate in the follow-up surveys after downloading the course materials.
Integrating Gender Equality Considerations in the Classroom – Training the Next Generation of Diverse Energy Experts
Women remain globally under-represented in the power sector, particularly in technical and leadership roles such as utility management, planning, policy-making, and engineering. Gender diversity and inclusion issues are apparent across the power sector workforce pipeline, including disproportional representation of women students and faculty at the university-level technical degree programs that are training the power sector workforce of the future.
Energy system modernization and renewable energy integration are introducing novel challenges and opportunities for the power sector – as this sector fundamentally transforms, it is critically important that the institutions responsible for instructing, training, and upskilling power sector professionals improve gender diversity and inclusive teaching practices within their organizations.
This video from USAID provides an introduction to the gender equality fundamentals, concepts, and terms needed to advance gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.
USAID’s Engendering Industries provides training and educational materials to support organizations in developing countries to increase economic opportunities for women and improve gender equality in the workplace. Introductory materials on gendering equality issues and best practice resources, made available through Engendering Industries Workforce Gender Equality Accelerated Program can also be used to support:
- University faculty, instructors, or teaching assistants – of all backgrounds – working to create gender-diverse and inclusive classrooms.
- Faculty hiring and student recruitment committees seeking to improve gender representation within the faculty and student bodies.
- Teachers, mentors, and guidance counselors preparing women students or early career professionals to work in and succeed in traditionally male-dominated fields.
- Human resources professionals and organizational leadership at universities and within industry working to address institutional barriers to gender diversity.
Materials and resources, including the Gender 101 Training, can be found here.
Learn More About How to Advance Gender Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization
If you are interested in learning more about opportunities to engage with gender equity and inclusion training for your institution, please contact USAID.NREL@nrel.gov.