EDSO workshop debates the Clean Energy Package

EDSO workshop debates the Clean Energy Package

The power grid revolution is at the centre of the clean energy transition. Empowerment of consumers, integration of renewable energy sources and smart grids all share one main feature: DSOs are key enablers for their success. As the Clean Energy Package paves the way for a future-proof energy system, the recognition of the new roles of the DSOs as active system operators and neutral market facilitators will be instrumental in ensuring that this becomes a reality.

EDSO, the European association of the largest electricity distributors, hosted a workshop on 24 April on Grid Revolution – Active Customers and Electricity Distributors shaping the new Energy Landscape. This event showed how the growing responsibilities of the DSOs go hand-in-hand with the increased focus on energy consumers in the Clean Energy Package. Through smart grids, DSOs will not only manage distribution systems in a more active and more efficient way but also enable customer participation in the energy system.

Dominique Ristori, EU Commission Director-General for Energy, elaborated in his keynote speech on the Commission’s willingness to embrace the ongoing revolution by promoting innovative solutions and providing the right conditions for the development of smart grids. He insisted on the rapid change of the whole energy system and on the increasing role of the DSO “at the centre of the new energy system”. He was followed by Joachim Schneider, Senior Vice-President of innogy SE, who presented EDSO’s proposals to facilitate the uptake of the new roles of the DSOs with regard to the use storage for grid purposes, the deployment of electric vehicles or the new concept of local energy communities.

In the panel discussion, Anna Colucci, head of the Retail Market unit of DG Energy, pinpointed three pillars for the transformation of the DSO role:

  • Use of flexibility for network purposes
  • Definition of the roles of the DSO
  • Participation in the EU framework and TSO/DSO relationship

The panel also gathered Laurent Schmitt – Secretary-General of ENTSO-E, James Watson – CEO of SolarPower Europe, and Franz Strempfl – Managing Director, Energienetze Steiermark. Panellists held a lively debate and found consensus on the necessity for a DSO Entity, the need for the use of flexibility at the local level, and the relevance of DSO use of storage for grid purposes.

EDSO considers the Clean Energy Package as a timely tool to make smart grids a reality and remains committed to turning this opportunity into a success. Therefore, this workshop will be the first of a series of events dedicated to the key elements of the Clean Energy Package. “EDSO welcomes the Package, which brings forward a smart and consumer-friendly vision of the energy system that DSOs are committed to” said Roberto Zangrandi, Secretary-General of EDSO, in his welcoming words. He added “the proposal to create a DSO Entity is fully in line with the current shift to decentralised energy, where distribution grids and citizens together will transform the power system through their active participation and uptake of new technologies”.

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