Role of DSOs enhanced to pave way for transformed energy system – EDSO response to CEER consultation

Role of DSOs enhanced to pave way for transformed energy system – EDSO response to CEER consultation

Brussels, February 27 2015 – EDSO welcomes CEER’s public consultation on the Role of the DSO, reflecting the willingness of energy regulators to address the evolving activities of the DSOs resulting from a new energy system reliant on more distributed and variable energy resources, and with the consumer at its centre. The coming years will be pivotal for the transformation of energy systems in Europe into a real Energy Union based on decarbonisation, efficiency, and security of supply.

CEER has considered a broad range of potential tasks to be carried out by DSOs, recognising the unsuitability of a one-size-fits all model, a message fully supported by EDSO. Many activities currently performed by DSOs today are, however, listed by CEER as “grey areas”, much to the surprise of Europe’s leading DSOs. These include data management and supplier switching, which DSOs are best placed to do in a secure and non-discriminatory manner.

EDSO supports the regulators’ views on TSO/DSO relations, proposing a balanced split of roles and responsibilities, where DSOs are considered full-fledged network operators, actively managing their networks. Regulators are strongly encouraged to interpret future network codes in the same spirit.

“The intention to understand the specific elements of exiting regulation that discourage investment in smart grids in the consultation document is appreciated”, says EDSO Secretary General, Ana Aguado. Innovative regulatory frameworks better reflecting the shift from capacity to operational costs, but that also take into account the standard level of risk related to investing in research and development, will significantly propel efficient grid development in the Member States.

Demand-side response (DSR) represents a high potential for network management, although a market set-up is not the only option. “Smart contracts” between DSOs and grid users should also be considered as an alternative. If a market model prevails, assurances that market signals will not contradict each other to the detriment of grid stability should be in place, as should the possibility for DSOs to override market signals in cases of emergency.

EDSO and its members are committed to continuing to support energy regulators in arriving at the most appropriate frameworks for our future energy system.

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