European grid research and innovation priorities to 2016 set out


Milan, Italy — (METERING.COM) — May 30, 2013

The European Electricity Grid Initiative (EEGI) last month released grid research and innovation (R&I) priorities for the period 2014-2016, based on its R&I roadmap for the decade to 2022.

European transmission system operator (TSO) priorities for the coming three years encompass the following main targets:

  • To launch the demonstration of technologies which increase the electricity system flexibility through enhanced network observability and control of the pan European transmission network
  • To address new ways of operating the pan-European transmission network via cooperation with DSOs and the involvement of demand side approaches
  • To continue research and development activities on alternative electricity market designs in view of the construction of the internal electricity market.

European distribution system operator (DSO) priorities encompass the following main targets:

  • To improve distribution grid performances involving communications improvements, network operations and asset management
  • To initiate research and development studies on new market designs at distribution level
  • To reinforce the cooperation between TSOs and DSOs through a focused set of joint R&I activities
  • To develop methodologies for the scaling up and replication studies that are needed to prepare the deployment of promising results obtained from the field demonstration of innovative solutions.

These priorities form part of the Implementation Plan 2014-2016, and are based on analysis of the on-going R&I activities by Europe’s TSOs and DSOs, the upgrading of the EEGI roadmap, and the upgraded priorities which have emerged for network operators in order to remain compliant with European energy policies and orientations, including the 2050 decarbonization targets of the European electricity system.

According to the implementation plan document the detailed topics in line with the prioritized functional objectives will be prepared in the first semester of 2013 to feed into the Horizon 2020 early calls for proposal.

It is intended that the proposed set of new R&I activities will keep improving the whole network capacity and flexibility – a prerequisite for its continuous and affordable decarbonization. However, both TSOs and DSOs stress the importance of streamlining their own resources needed to carry out the suggested ambitious activities of the plan. A resource gap is growing on the network operator side, which, in turn, requires regulatory interventions at national levels: more investments in R&I projects are needed now to deliver on-time proven network improvement solutions and their grid deployment.

The implementation plan is updated yearly, and the Implementation Plan 2015-2017 is currently in preparation with scheduled release by the end of 2013.