Tracks and Special Sessions



Smart villages, Microgrids for Rural Electrification and Local Energy Communities

Nikos Hatziargyriou (
João Peças Lopes ( | )

Focus will be on the development of off-grid solutions, such as mini-grids and microgrids, to accelerate electricity access in developing countries. Topics include the role of energy communities and insulated power systems in combating energy poverty, the integration of renewable energy sources (RES) in insular and rural systems, control architectures and management tools for the microgrids and minigrids.

Transmission Infrastructures to Foster Large Renewable Projects

João Peças Lopes ( | )

Interconnectors and transmission infrastructures are a key driver to foster the building of large renewable projects. This is an opportunity to attract investments and contribute to the development of remote areas or promote the integration of different systems. The session aims to report these projects worldwide highlighting opportunities and barriers and technology drivers. Topics include procedures to identify the renewable energy sources hosting capacity of the transmission grids and methods to assess the needs for transmission system expansion and reinforcement when integrating large renewable generation projects.

Renewable Energy for Future Green Rural Energy Communities: Technologies, Integration, and Operation

Riccardo Leuzzi (Polytechnic University of Bari,
Hamzah Beiranvand, (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel,

Renewable energy sources (RES) are strongly tied to the sustainable development of weakly-linked or remote areas that, due to their location and morphological features, are either isolated from the main network or are considered protected areas. However, many technical challenges remain open for the relatively weak rural networks because of their long distribution feeders and distance from the transmission lines, including power quality, variability of production from wind and solar plants, voltage regulation, budget-friendly and reliable power electronics for RES integration with the grid, etc.
This special session focuses on the latest advancements regarding the technology, integration, and operation of RES for the development of future green rural energy communities, aiming at exploring cutting-edge research for sustainable, efficient, and affordable rural electrification solutions. Topics of interest for this special session include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Solutions and Technologies for the Integration of RES in Rural and Isolated Areas
  • Technologies and Tools for Sustainable Rural Electrification
  • Energy Storage Technologies and Integration in Green Rural Energy Communities
  • Advanced Power Converters and Control Strategies for Rural RES Development
  • Grid-Forming Converters and Power Quality Enhancement in RES-Based Green Rural Energy
  • Communities

Optimization, sustainability & resilience of energy distribution systems and final uses

Kresimir Bakic, ELES Elektro-Slovenija
Giuditta Pisano, Università di Cagliari
Massimo Pompili, Sapienza University of Roma

The session is focused on the sustainable energy optimization in the final use, ensuring sustainable and resilient energy management, energy consumptions, energy generation, energy distribution and uses. Europe wastes at least 20% of its energy due to inefficient components and systems. Final use optimisation and a proper distribution system are crucial bullets to overcome the green transition in a smart way considering cost reduction, environmental protection, sustainability, resilience, and climate neutrality principles.
In this view, the present session considers the items and scientific results of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan relative to Italian projects PE2 – Network 4 Energy Sustainable Transition (NEST) – Spoke 8 “Final use optimization, sustainability & resilience in energy supply chain” intimately related to these issues. The aims of the session are of course extended to similar projects and experiences worldwide.

Solutions and resources for ensuring grid adequacy and supply accessibility

Prof. Francisco Gonzalez-Longatt, University of Loughborough, UK/University of South Eastern Norway, Norway
Dr. Giuseppe Forte, Politecnico di Bari, Italy

The increase of final uses electrification, along with the diffusion of distributed energy, poses challenges for developing and managing electric network configurations at different voltage levels. In particular, critical aspects aimed to be investigated by the contributions in this special issue could be individuated in (but not limited to):

  • Islanded grids – either structurally isolated or managed as stand-alone systems – for the supply of customers and the integration of local renewable generation;
  • Densely populated areas, where access to the electric network could find difficulties due to the high concentration of load and low operation margins;
  • Tools for the provision of network services by distributed sources involving demand management and energy communities;
  • Development of multi-carrier energy systems in order to provide coordinated and cost-affordable energy services for the users and the grid.

Improving living standards through advanced technologies for optimal energy management strategies and Transactive Energy Frameworks

Jie Wang, School of Electronic, Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Yang Mi, Shanghai University of Electric Power, China

Ensuring a secure and economical power delivery in remote or rural regions is crucial for improving living standards and fostering economic development through optimal energy utilization. This involves implementing energy management system (EMS) strategies for secure and economic scheduling and deploying renewable energy resources alongside hybrid energy storage systems to achieve environmental sustainability and mitigate climate change impacts. Some advanced technologies such as: artificial intelligence, robust grid-forming control applied to weak grids, Internet of Energy, Blockchain etc. enable remote or rural regions to attain a quality of life comparable to urban areas.
Additionally, incorporating communication and management technologies into the energy systems of remote or rural regions not only provides opportunities for the public and private sectors to advance their knowledge of information and communication technologies but also supports disaster relief efforts through efficient energy scheduling. For instance, in West of China, peoples still lack the latest digital technologies and there is a great need to address the transactive energy frameworks into such kinds of remote areas for more secure and economical power operations. This is essential in public, private, educational sectors and medical health care centers of remote regions.


Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Purposes

Prof. Ferdinando Nunziata (Università degli studi di Napoli Parthenope,
Fabio Bovenga (CNR-IREA, Bari,

Remote sensing technologies are becoming increasingly used for humanitarian aid and disaster prediction and management purposes. Nowadays, the availability of free-of-charge satellite-based remotely sensed measurements together with the proliferation of smaller, light-weight satellites triggered the development of a broad range of user-friendly added-value products in different thematic domains, including humanitarian applications. This track is to stimulate the discussion about theoretical and operational aspects that ground added-value products generated from measurements remotely sensed from optical and microwave sensors and to propose new innovative methods and models to trigger new products for humanitarian purposes. The expected topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Ocean domain: marine traffic control, extreme events, pollution, acquacolture, algae, etc.
  • Land domain: inland waters, flooding, crop observation, desertification, disaster management, coastal area observation, etc.
  • Urban: Urban growth monitoring; informal settlement monitoring, etc.

Strengthening the Resilience of the Power System Against Natural Disasters

Nikos Hatziargyriou (

This session focuses on the impact of natural disasters on power systems depending on the vulnerability of both the transmission and the distribution system.  Methods to figure out the causes of outages, identify preventive actions, and increase the resiliency of the system under such scenarios are highly desirable. New technology advancements including dispersed generation can provide resiliency control and enhancement.


Integrated Networks and Services Toward Ubiquitous and Sustainable Digitalization

Prof. Giuseppe Piro (Polytechnic University of Bari,
Dr. Maria Rita Palattella (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology,

Despite the technological advancements made worldwide in the last years, approximately 3 billion people across the globe still lack access to the Internet. The resulting Digital Divide poses a significant barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations, such as reducing inequality, promoting decent work and economic growth, advancing industry, innovation, and infrastructure, as well as fostering sustainable cities and communities. The disparities among regions and countries should be rapidly fixed for supporting better societal development while ensuring multiple opportunities for both citizens and businesses. To this end, many social, economic, technological, industrial, and governmental initiatives are promoting the study and the deep investigation of integrated networks (embracing both terrestrial and non-terrestrial segments) and services able to provide tangible and effective solutions towards ubiquitous and sustainable digitalization.  With these considerations in mind, this special session aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, industries, and policymakers to share and discuss recent and novel initiatives and solutions aimed at bridging the digital divide and, therefore, “connecting the unconnected”.
Specifically, it welcomes submissions of original research papers, case studies, and work-in-progress reports addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • technologies and energy-efficient infrastructures for extending Internet access to unconnected peoples and places
  • policy frameworks and regulatory mechanisms to promote a ubiquitous and sustainable digitalization
  • solutions and initiates targeting the “connecting the unconnected” challenge and the SDGs
  • socio-economic impacts of connected communities and digitalization
  • sustainable business models for ubiquitous and sustainable digitalization
  • case studies, best practices, and project addressing integrated networks and services
  • measurement and evaluation of Internet access and usage in underserved areas.

Biomedical Engineering: a Technological Support to Equity in Healthcare

Prof. Anna M. Bianchi (Polytechnic University of Milan,
Prof. Leandro Pecchia (Università Campus Bio-medico di Roma,

Biomedical Engineering covers many different domains able to improve equity in healthcare delivery. ICT, wearable devices, big data analytics, make easier to reach larger sectors of population and to guarantee better access to the needed services worldwide.  On the other hand, also the optimization of the healthcare resources, the circular economy and the ethical issues are paramount for guarantee a fair distribution and use of the available resources.
This track aims to provide descriptions of novel technological solutions and applications for a better healthcare delivery and to promote the discussion about humanitarian needs in different countries and environments. The main topics include (but are not limited to): Telemedicine; Wearable and mobile devices; Clinical decision support systems; Circular economy in medicine; Low-cost healthcare solutions; Ethical issues.

Innovative Teaching Methods, Virtual Labs, and Technologies for Remote Learning and Training

Prof. Alfredo Vaccaro (University of Sannio,
Prof. Ahmed Zobaa (Brunel University London,
Prof. Sergio Bruno (Politecnico di Bari,

This special session aims to analyse the potential roles of enabling teaching and learning methodologies using Information and Communication Technologies in onsite/online environments to enhance specific know-how and technical skills in designing, operating, and maintaining power and industrial facilities in remote areas. The main idea is to enable knowledge transfer over interactive remote classrooms distributed along vast geographical areas by using innovative tools and methods for education and training, which may include virtual labs, real-time simulations, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) experiments, augmented and virtual reality, virtual tools and workrooms for remote maintenance and technical training.

New Frontiers in Electromagnetic and Optical Solutions for Improving Quality of Life

Prof. Dr. Giovanni Magno (Polytechnic University of Bari,
Prof. Dr. Ilaria Marasco (Polytechnic University of Bari,

Improving quality of life has consistently been a primary driving force behind technological research. The concept of ‘improvement’ can be declined as ‘simplification’, ‘protection’ and ‘support’, guiding the identification of advantageous solutions. Electromagnetic field-based technologies have the potential to significantly impact the quality of life, enabling the realisation of devices and systems for monitoring (i.e. biological, industrial and environmental sensing), safety enhancement, and increased individual autonomy and mobility.
This session aims to showcase advancements in electromagnetic and optical solutions dedicated to delivering these benefits. Discussion topics will include:

  • Augmented reality for memory and cognitive support
  • Innovative automotive visors
  • Biological, chemical and environmental sensors
  • Logistic aids
  • AI-assisted imaging systems for health and crop monitoring
  • Smart antennas, metasurfaces and wireless devices for indoor/outdoor localisation and so on.

It is possible to submit further special sessions by June 29th.