Smart grids: from dream to reality?

The electricity power grid needs to change over the coming years. The introduction of renewable energy sources will decrease the flexibility of the electricity supply. For example, unlike a normal power plant, the sun can not be ordered to rise in the evening. Furthermore, the demand for electricity is increasing. New technologies, such as heat pumps and electric vehicles, use electricity instead of hydrocarbon fuels (gas, oil). If nothing is done, the large scale introduction of these devices will cause serious congestion problems in the electricity network.

Smart grids promise to help to solve these problems. Currently, all but the largest end users expect the grid to ‘just work’: devices consume electricity as they see fit. The smart grid vision expects all large consumer devices to be managed, such that their behaviour over time can be changed within reasonable limits. In this way, demand may be shifted to periods with high supply, and grid expansions may be avoided.

At the energy group of the Computer Architecture and Discrete Mathematics chairs of the University of Twente, we are working on scheduling and control approaches for smart grids. We believe that planning is essential to make the most of the smart grid potential. We have developed a framework called TRIANA: an integrated approach for forecasting, planning and operational control of demand side management in smart grids.

In the DREAM project (2011-2015), which is part of the STW SES (Smart Energy Systems) programme, I have worked on techniques for efficient and reliable planning based demand side management for smart grid applications. In the HEGRID project (UT 2014-2015), which is sponsored by EIT Digital, we have developed technology for hybrid energy stream management with TRIANA on the EF-Pi open energy management platform. In the e-balance project (2013-2017), which is sponsored by the European Union's FP7 programme, this technology will be applied in practice.

As of December 2016 I no longer work at UTwente. Please consult my LinkedIn profile for more recent information.


  • Toersche, H.A. and Hurink, J.L. and Konsman, M.J. (2015) Energy management with TRIANA on FPAI. In: PowerTech, 2015 IEEE Eindhoven, 29 Jun - 02 Jul 2015, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. pp. 1-6. IEEE Power & Energy Society.
  • Gerards, M.E.T. and Toersche, H.A. and Hoogsteen, G. and van der Klauw, T. and Hurink, J.L. and Smit, G.J.M. (2015) Demand side management using profile steering. In: PowerTech, 2015 IEEE Eindhoven, 29 June - 2 July 2015, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. 457759:1-457759:6. IEEE Power & Energy Society.
  • Toersche, H.A. and Molderink, A. and Hurink, J.L. and Smit, G.J.M. (2013) Column generation based planning in smart grids using TRIANA. In: 4th IEEE/PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe, ISGT EUROPE 2013, 6-9 Oct 2013, Lyngby, Denmark. 0537. IEEE Power & Energy Society. ISBN 978-1-4799-2984-9
  • ter Braak, T.D. and Toersche, H.A. and Kokkeler, A.B.J. and Smit, G.J.M. (2011) Adaptive resource allocation for streaming applications. In: International Conference on Embedded Computer Systems: Architectures, Modeling and Simulation, IC-SAMOS 2011, 18-21 Jul 2011, Samos, Greece. pp. 388-395. IEEE Circuits & Systems Society. ISBN 978-1-4577-0800-8

An automatically updated list of publications is also available.

University of Twente Enschede, the Netherlands