PRESS RELEASE: EDSO Workshop on 21 November in Brussels voiced DSOs’ key role in energy transition, deploying smarter electric grids for smarter cities

PRESS RELEASE: EDSO Workshop on 21 November in Brussels voiced DSOs’ key role in energy transition, deploying smarter electric grids for smarter cities

In a changing energy system, cities in Europe are facing challenging structural changes. They are progressively urged to be able to host smarter and sustainable advanced technologies to deliver electricity in intelligent and efficient way to their citizens. The Distribution System Operators (DSOs) are key to ensure this task, in updating, improving and modernizing electric grids they manage and in making use of electric power smarter and easier.

This was at the core of the discussions yesterday afternoon in a workshop organised in Brussels by the European Distribution System Operators’ Association for Smart Grids (EDSO) gathering around 120 participants.

Eddy Hartog, Head of Unit at European Commission DG CONNECT opened the event saying “we need digitalized fully deployed interconnected smart grids all over Europe to manage the energy transition. The European Commission has ambition to go forward with it and DSOs have an essential role to play to deploy such a transition.”

Guido Bortoni, Chief Officer at ARERA the Italian Regulation Agency, argued that DSOs shall be seen as catalyzers of services by being neutral but fully active players in the game of energy powers system through cooperation with Transmission System Operators (TSOs).

Bianca Barth from bne (Energy Market Innovators) also underlined DSOs should be neutral facilitators, not only for citizens but also for market actors.

Juan Rios, Regulation Director at Iberdrola Distribucion, confirmed that DSOs are natural enablers to optimize needed infrastructures at minimum costs, to increase customers’ benefits and to empower cities becoming smarter.

Speakers were discussing possibilities for prosumers in future smarter city environment and the role DSOs have to play in deploying positive energy neighborhood in a situation of sector coupling. Concerns were also stressed on how to integrate smarter technologies, digital devices to develop real added values and what kind of platform and governance are expected for a full digitilisation of smart cities.

Manuel Sanchez, Smart Grids Leader at European Commission DG ENERGY explained that DSOs are crucial enablers of the digitalized energy economy.

Luis Cunha, European Affairs Director at EDP Distribuiçao, presenting an Interface for a more digitalised environment, highlighted the need of DSOs to make the energy and digital transition a reality and to gather everyone working together on a governance model thanks to a common platform.

Sharing best practices based on projects experiences from DSOs, cities, civil society and other stakeholders was also the guideline of this EDSO workshop to explore new possibilities for smart local communities, citizens’ engagement, storage and flexibility issues.

Lutz Ribbe representing the civil society on behalf of the European Economic and Social Committee, said, “Thanks to EDSO for organising such an important workshop because we need to bring different energy interests and to work together to allow citizens to be real actors of the energy transition”.

Talking about electromobility, Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of UITP, congratulated this EDSO workshop for working jointly with public transport operators on sustainable electrics grids, increasing electrification and digitalized environment for cities.

In organising this workshop EDSO managed to reach sensitive questions and to share expertise between representatives of Electricity Distribution System, EU institutions, cities and citizens as well as smart energy cities experts, so to pave the way for common initiatives and future projects on smarter

About EDSO

European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO) is a corporate-based European association that gathers 36 leading electricity distribution system operators (DSOs), including 2 associations, from 20 European countries. Through EDSO’s activities on electricity distribution-related technologies, policies and projects, its members cooperate to ensure the reliability of Europe’s electricity supply for customers and enable their active participation in the European power system. In short, EDSO is shaping smarter grids for your and Europe’s future.

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