2nd Annual Innogrid2020+: European grid operators demonstrate efforts to smarten power grid

2nd Annual Innogrid2020+: European grid operators demonstrate efforts to smarten power grid

February 26th 2013, Brussels – On February 20-21st 2013, the second InnoGrid2020+ electricity grid RD&D seminar, jointly organised by ENTSO-E, EDSO for Smart Grids and the GRID+ project, gathered more than 150 industry and member state representatives, researchers and policy makers in Brussels, to discuss the future needs for the European electricity system in order to reach the ambitious EU energy policy targets.

Opening the two-day event, Per-Olof Granström, secretary general of EDSO for Smart Grids, declared that ‘Smart grids are key to achieving the EU energy targets and integrating the internal energy market’, highlighting the many showcased European projects ‘and large scale demonstration projects such as these are crucial for knowledge-sharing, guiding the way forward’.

Distribution and transmission system operators (DSOs and TSOs) presented research, development and demonstration activities, as laid out in the EEGI Roadmap 2013-2022. Transmission and distribution systems are a vital backbone to paving the way towards Europe’s 2050 climate targets as set out in the Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050.

Seminar attendees learnt about the concrete steps taken by system operators in 16 showcased European RD&D projects, covering all key research areas: integration of renewables and electric vehicles, demand side response, energy efficiency, active grid management, etc. The project coordinators unanimously appreciated the valuable knowledge-sharing session, which enabled them to compare different approaches to similar problems, discuss potential solutions and share new ideas for future research.

The seminar also fuelled a fruitful debate between utilities and policy makers. The discussions revealed that continuous efforts and investments in large-scale demonstrators are needed and highlighted the positive impact of public-private partnerships through the FP7 programme today and the Horizon 2020 programme tomorrow.

To widen the scope of the panel session, speakers from outside Europe were invited to present research from other regions of the world. Smart grids are a key-topic in Europe, but significant efforts are also being made in Asia and America to decarbonise the energy system. Hubert Lemmens, chairman of ENTSO-E R&D Committee noted that ‘The InnoGrid2020+ conference clearly demonstrated that we have reached a stage where various technology options are available. The next challenge is to put the pieces together, test and roll out the technologies. For TSOs this means very close cooperation with all stakeholders across the value chain; and an adequate regulatory framework to enable the necessary investments.’

For the last session, presenting the GRID+ project and several examples of successful collaboration between DSOs and TSOs, Michele de Nigris, added that ‘The InnoGrid2020+ conference, supported by GRID+, has proved to be a valuable playground for the interaction between smart grid projects, in view of a better mutual understanding and coordination of efforts towards the common European energy targets’.

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