The European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO) drafted a roadmap for research, development and deployment of smart grid technologies in Europe.The whitepaper was developed by EDSO in partnership with EASE, ENTSHO-E, RSE and VITO.
According to EDSO, the whitepaper 'Research and Innovation Roadmap (RIR)', "motivates and describes the 2017-2026 priorities for the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Smart Networks for the Energy Transition."
The roadmap is an update to the previous framework developed to help the EU in implementing its smart grid research and innovation programmes between 2013 and 2022.
It was developed from views expressed by energy stakeholders in nine regional energy workshops and data generated from 123 national projects and 54 international projects.
The roadmap is divided into three blocks with the first block providing guidelines on how the region can meet goals set by climate and energy policies.
The first block analyses how energy and climate policies can impact on the EU's future energy system with emphasis on generation, network infrastructure, digitisation, load management and customer engagement.
The second block defines challenges which utility firms in the region are expected to experience due to the evolution of the energy system. EDSO says the majority of challenges are likely to increase the need for consumer flexibility.
Some of the challenges identified in the whitepaper include:
- More intermittent generation at different spatial scales sometimes far from the main consumption centres.
- New loads as a result of the electrification of the transport sector and the energy efficiency policies in the building sector.
- The integration of the pan-European transmission electricity network with a regional management layer as well as new links in the energy system.
- The internal energy market where market makers (network operators) will have to manage an increasing number of interactions with market players while ensuring adequacy and security.
According to the whitepaper, grid expansion with overhead lines is less and less accepted by the general public thereby forcing network operators to use more expensive and challenging technological options. [EDSO highlights the impact of consumer flexibility in smart grid development].
The third building block is a mapping between the future challenges to be addressed by system operators, together with the other stakeholders of the power (energy) system, and the structure of the RIR.
Image credit: Shutterstock