Energy Internet via Packetized Management

This paper investigates the possibility of building the energy Internet via a packetized management of non-industrial loads. The proposed solution is based on the cyber-physical implementation of energy packets, where flexible loads send user requests to an energy server. Based on the existing literature, we explain how and why this approach could scale up to interconnected micro-grids, also pointing out the challenges involved in relation to the physical deployment of the electricity network. We then assess how machine-type wireless communications, as part of 5G and beyond systems, will achieve the low latency and ultra-reliability needed by the micro-grid protection while providing the massive coverage needed by the packetized management. This more distributed grid organization also requires localized governance models. We cite few existing examples as local markets, energy communities, and micro-operator that support such novel arrangements. We conclude this paper by providing an overview of ongoing activities that support the proposed vision and the possible ways to move forward.