SWIPO – Smart Wiring for Power Grid Stability


Pathfinder - explores relevant climate arenas to identify and prioritize innovation opportunities


Pan-European, coordinated from Germany

March 2014

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)


Jobst Heitzig

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA); Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS); ARIA Technologies SA; Vattenfall Europe; National Physical Lab (NPL)

Power outages are very costly for both society and industry. As a result of climate change, with its associated increases in the use of volatile energy sources like solar and wind alongside projected increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as storms, floods, hail and forest fires, power shortages and interruptions to supply are projected to become more likely.

To adapt to these aspects of climate change and to enable a growing share in renewable energy production needed to mitigate climate change, power grids must be designed to be resilient against these threats to stability and operated accordingly.It will become increasingly necessary for grids to be able to cope with periods of unmatched supply and demand, resulting from loss of production or transmission, as well as changing consumption patterns.

SWIPO assesses possibilities and demand for a power grid design tool that reduces blackouts and enables a larger share of renewable energy production. Using Smart Wiring and a novel measure of stability, it raises grid resilience to production volatility and to increasing extreme weather events. The project will explore the potential to turn numerical and theoretical research into a real world power grid design tool. This pathfinder project will assess the possibility and demand for a software tool which will allow grid operators to simulate the effects of wiring decisions on power supply stability.