Brussels, 14 May 2019. Various European projects were center-stage at the second day of this year’s Innogrid2020+ edition, including sessions on innovation for the physical grid, active customers and active system management, sector coupling and storage as well as advanced grid resilience.

Moreover, power platforms were discussed as a topic of increasing importance for both DSOs and TSOs. In a session dedicated to ‘time to market’, panelists looked at obstacles to deploying the future grid and how they can be overcome.

The current energy transition is as much a switch in energy sources as a technological revolution with numerous new electrified and digital technologies and services contributing to a decarbonised society in the most cost-efficient way.

Power networks are key enablers of the clean energy transition and facilitators of new energy technologies and services. This raises expectations around their performance. Meeting the Paris Agreement requires substantial investments in power network innovation.

Members of E.DSO and ENTSO-E continuously work to develop their businesses and services and invest in RD&I to meet these expectations. Based on this field experience, E.DSO and ENTSO-E delivered at the end of Innogrid2020+ six recommendations to the European Commission on power networks innovation ahead of the Copenhagen Infrastructure Forum. These are:

1. Recognise the role of networks for delivering on the Paris Agreement

2. Further advance transmission-distribution cooperation: Active System Management

3. Ease the way for new grid technologies through appropriate RD&I support, in line with the Mission Innovation 2021 objective

4. Enhance RD&I efforts on sector coupling and digitalization

5. Provide for innovative regulation: Enable sand boxes

6. Link EU Funding Programs: Projects of Common Interest (PCI) and Horizon 2020

Catherina Sikow-Magny, Head of Unit for Networks & Regional Initiatives in DG Energy, who received the recommendations on behalf the European Commission, stated that “ “regulatory tools are in place to make sure that the necessary investments happen, including Projects of Common Interest. But what we need to do now is to continue working together, to facilitate cooperation, and we need to be open-minded an innovative when implementing regulation.”

Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General ENTSO-E, said: “The next energy system will be one of innovation to connect physical infrastructures across sectors, geographies, communities and prosumers to ensure alignment of physical constraints with real-time market transactions. Grid Operators are key in enabling this transformation towards a system of systems that keeps the lights on at least possible cost for customers while mitigating climate change.”

Roberto Zangrandi, Secretary General E.DSO, added that a trustful cooperation between DSOs and TSOs is key for achieving the energy transition and for facilitating an environment in which new actors can engage and new services can be offered. “The recent adoption of the TSO/DSO report on Active System Management bears witness to this fruitful cooperation. We must ensure continued dialogue in the future. More specifically, we must jointly raise our efforts in RD&I. At the same time, system operators require the support of the EU in terms of funding but also easing administrative procedures, to boost innovation and our European economy”, said Zangrandi.

The recommendations are available on ENTSO-E’s and E.DSO’s websites.