Data management in the EU electricity networks
The four European associations representing electricity distribution system operators, CEDEC, EDSO, EURELECTRIC and GEODE, and ENTSO-E, representing the transmission system operators, teamed up to share their views on how to manage data and information exchanges between system operators. The resulting effort is a joint report that sets out how rules on data management and exchanges represent a precondition to deploying smart grids and unleashes all potential of the demand side of the electricity system. The report also intends to stir up the debate among stakeholders across networks and markets.
With more variable generation and distributed loads, the EU electricity system is operated closer to its limits. Solutions can be found in more flexibility: that is the demand or generation side adapting their behaviour to support the system. With more customer participation and more decentralised generation, flexibility providers connected to the distribution grid are significantly and continuously increasing. Therefore, the management and exchanges of information and data between the transmission system operators (TSOs), responsible for balancing supply and demand and the distribution system operators (DSOs), responsible for the system’s security of supply and quality of service is fundamental to integrating the new forms of demand and supply.
The joint TSO/DSO data management report aims to stir the debate, amongst aggregators, retailers, utilities, traders, new service providers, policy makers and networks. The experts of the involved associations deliver eight recommendations:
- Data exchange has to support the efficient functioning of the market by enabling all parties to perform their tasks efficiently and by allowing the emergence of new market players;
- The focus should be on services needed rather than on platforms. This would allow first to define what services are needed for the market and system operators before determining how these services are provided;
- Third parties should be able to access grid data to perform their activities. EU principles on data privacy are highly desirable, as the prior consent of customers before any commercial use of their data is elementary;
- Party or parties responsible for data management should be neutral to all market players;
- Standardisation and interoperability of data exchange is needed first at national and then at EU level. Regulation should enable system operators to recover costs of standardisation and harmonisation;
- Flexibility should be used where it maximises social welfare without putting system security at risk. Flexibility providers should be able to offer their service for different purposes, where they are valued the most and independently from the grid, which they are connected to.
- Avoid harmful interference between congestion management (mainly at distribution level) and balancing (at transmission level). New ICT between system operators should be designed, while discussions to maximise efficiency and security are ongoing.
- TSOs need to access data of customers connected to the distribution grid – directly or indirectly – if they become flexibility providers to the TSO. The way this data is transmitted to TSOs may vary: from aggregators, the DSOs or TSOs’ own technical solutions.