Meet the future Graziela da Costa

Meet the Future Graziela Luzia da Costa

Friday 16 Apr 21


Graziela Luzia da Costa
PhD student
DTU Wind Energy
+45 93 51 09 85

Graziela Luzia da Costa is a PhD student at DTU Wind Energy at DTU’s campus at Risø. She is interested in the power systems of the future – with a special focus at renewable energy.

At DTU Wind Energy Graziela Luzia da Costa is researching whether our current electricity systems will be adequate in the future when the energy production solely will be based on sustainable sources. In addition, she is helping to investigate whether the electricity systems are geared for the large conversion to electricity, which will shape future energy production. Graziela helps answering these important questions by creating a computer model that can produce data and in that way provide the necessary scientific information.

Graziela’s research

Graziela's work on her PhD project "Mesoscale Modeling of Future Climate Impacts on VRE Generation and Energy Systems" is part of a larger project, PSFuture, which deals with the challenges within the electricity systems that arise due to the increased amount of electricity produced by the varying sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind - energy sources that account for more and more of the European electricity production. The PSFuture project aims at answering two questions: First and foremost whether it will be possible to keep costs down when sustainable energy sources are the only energy sources to produce the large amount of energy needed in the European magnitude, and secondly whether the very weather-dependent electricity system of the future is reliable enough. Graziela's work in the project is providing scientific data in order to answer these questions, taking climate change into account. “When using sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar, guaranteeing that electricity is always available is difficult as these are not constant energy sources,” says Graziela and elaborates: “This is a great challenge for planning the electricity systems.”

She makes simulations of the climate using computer models. Her simulations span long periods and unlike weather forecasts, they do not predict conditions in the atmosphere at a given time. “Just as it is important for the assessment of resources to know whether there will be sun or wind, it is important to understand the possible effects of climate changes on the variability of these, that is how the sun or wind varies hour by hour all days of the year over a number of years when planning the power and energy systems of the future,” Graziela explains.

The interest in climate and environment

Graziela's interest in matters regarding climate and environment started at her physics studies at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in her native country Brazil. However, it was not possible to study environmental topics at the physics studies and she switched to the National Institute for Space Research in São Paulo (INPE - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais), where she wrote her master's project on the causes of forecast errors in the Brazilian weather model BAM. Subsequently, she gained some work experience, i.a. at the Brazilian Center for Weather Forecast and Climate Studies where she worked with climate simulations and, more recently, with climate scenarios for sustainable energy. “I started to feel like I was on track of who I really am when I started dealing with sustainable energy,” she says. The opportunity to solely concentrate on this area of expertise came when she saw a PhD call from DTU Wind Energy on the department's website. She took the opportunity and applied for the position, which she now holds at the Department of Wind Energy: Today, Graziela conducts research into sustainable energy in the sections GRID Integration and Energy Systems and Resource Assessment and Meteorology. This is where her PhD supervisor Senior Researcher Andrea Hahmann and co-supervisor and Researcher Matti Koivisto work, too. She is happy for the affiliation and for the supervisors: “My supervisor, Andrea Hahmann, and I work very well together. She has taught me a lot about mesoscale modeling,” says Graziela. She also has a close collaboration with Matti Koivisto, because he is the leader of the PSFuture project and helps shaping the simulations to power systems applications.

How will your results be used in practice?
As Graziela is affiliated with the PSFuture project, her research results will be used directly in this project. However, Graziela also sees opportunities for her results to be put into play elsewhere:
“My project provides data on the future scenarios of climate change, so perhaps my data will be able to influence decision-makers when discussing the consequences of climate change and what can be done to reduce them,” she says.

Another place where Graziela saw the benefit of her project was at DTU's mandatory course for the PhD students of the university. Here she was “pressured to see the environmental benefits of her project,” as she puts it. The course discussed the UN Sustainable Development Goals and sustainability in general in connection with the PhD projects, and Graziela has no doubt that her work will be able to help reducing future CO2 emissions from energy production.

One thing is purely academic matters but how do you experience the culture at DTU Wind Energy?
“Before corona sent us all home, I got to experience a bit of the culture at the department,” she says. She tells that she got an impression of talented people working at the department. In addition, she finds it very easy to exchange ideas with colleagues. When asked how her collaboration with other PhD students is working, she answers that it can be a little difficult to collaborate more loosely, because everything takes place online and consequently, all is planned. However, she has participated in online courses where she has met other PhD students, and she also experiences initiatives to increase the social contact amongst the PhD students.

Do you have any advice for the upcoming PhD students at the department?
“Yes, my advice will be: Be prepared and open to cooperate. Do not be afraid to ask questions and reach out,” Graziela concludes.

Related videos  

video thumbnail image

video thumbnail image

video thumbnail image

video thumbnail image

Show more

News and filters

Get updated on news that match your filter.