InnoGrid2020+ 2012 – European grid operators getting ready for the new power system challenges

InnoGrid2020+ 2012 – European grid operators getting ready for the new power system challenges

InnoGrid2020+, the joint ENTSO-E, EDSO for Smart Grids and GRID+ seminar on R&D dissemination, held on February 23-24th 2012 attracted more than 140 experts from nearly 100 companies, institutions, organisations and EU member state representatives, as well as many distinguished speakers and panellists. Technology required to efficiently contribute to the power system, as envisaged by the EU 2020 policy targets and beyond, were discussed at the event.

Opening the two day seminar, Daniel Dobbeni, President of ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) and CEO of the Elia Group quoted the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn who said that Europe’s first priority is to focus on R&D policy in order to reach the great challenges facing our society, two such challenges directly relate to the European power system: climate change and energy security, which cannot be realised without a reliable electricity supply.

The focus of the event were the major challenges arising for transmission and distribution grids as a result of the increasing share of variable and decentralised generation and the integration of the energy markets. Technologies, equipment and ITC tools need to be developed urgently in order to balance vast amounts of wind and solar generation with consumption in real time, and the deployment of cost effective Smart Grid solutions, empowering customers and allowing for demand response as well as for charging electric vehicles.

More collaboration on R&D, large scale demonstrations in real working conditions also involving the consumer and regulators are required. The paths to ensure rapid progress through financing and incentives, cooperation and knowledge sharing were highlighted as important in the framework of the discussion regarding how to make this relevant development possible on the basis of the European Electricity Grid Initiative (EEGI) and using the new GRID+ project supporting the EEGI with project mapping, labelling and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

Wiktor Raldow from DG Research of the European Commission highlighted the importance of the EEGI and gave some insight into Horizon 2020, the Commission’s proposal for EUR 80 billion research and innovation funding programme for 2014 to 2020. “This programme will bring a much needed doubling of the support for European energy R&D and will also simplify participation in the projects”, Raldow said. 13 large electricity transmission and distribution R&D projects contributing to the EEGI Roadmap were presented as part of the seminar. These projects included; TWENTIES, OPTIMATE, Umbrella, iTESLA, REALISEGRID, PEGASE, After, EcoGrid EU, Safewind, GRID4EU, Green eMotion, Inovgrid and ADDRESS, creating a lot of interesting interaction and knowledge sharing.

Per-Olof Granström, Secretary General of EDSO for Smart Grids, highlighted the changing role for DSO’s towards active local system management and said that “now is the time to focus on the grids” in order to reach the 2020 targets. He also emphasised the need for regulators to support innovation and implementation of Smart Grids for the sake of the whole electricity system. Hubert Lemmens, chairman of the ENTSO-E R&D Committee invited stakeholders to further debate these urgent issues with ENTSO-E and EDSO for Smart grids representatives

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