Page 42 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2016 publication
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42  Spring 2016 European Energy Innovation


DSOs to take on new roles in an
evolving energy market

By Hans ten Berge, Secretary-General, EURELECTRIC (pictured)

In the context of a rapidly evolving       THE COMPLEXITY OF FUTURE                   complex network, allowing market
      energy market, the coming years      SYSTEM DEMANDS                             parties to enable customers to
      will be crucial for Europe’s energy  DSOs must continually adapt and            optimise the way they use energy and
      systems. Strict environmental        extend their central role in facilitating  benefit from it while keeping costs and
 objectives aimed at reducing carbon       an open and competitive market.            complexity at acceptable levels.
 emissions, increasing penetration of      Being at the heart of the changes
 decentralised distributed generation      that are happening within their            DATA MANAGEMENT HIGH ON THE
 and the electrification of transport      own networks and with a deep               AGENDA
 are bringing on a new energy reality.     understanding of how their own             A key part of the DSO’s role in
 New industry players are emerging         distribution systems work and operate,     facilitating the energy market is data
 and interacting with Distribution         DSOs are in a position to act as           management. The goal of any data
 System Operators (DSOs), forcing          neutral energy market facilitators and     management system does not revolve
 changes in the way they operate           coordinators of all customers. In the      only around ownership, but rather
 and plan their networks. DSOs are         future evolution of energy networks        around correct and fair information
 consequently moving away from their       towards a smarter grid concept, DSOs       sharing in an efficient, transparent,
 role as passive network operators         are responsible for guaranteeing           non-discriminatory way. In order to
 towards active system management of       distribution system stability, power       manage their networks in a more
 the distribution grid. They are taking    quality, technical efficiency and cost     active way, policy makers need to
 on a more active coordinating role in     effectiveness through the intelligent      clarify the DSO involvement in data
 facilitating markets while continuing     use of technology.                         management.
 to provide a stable and high-quality
 service to all customers in a smarter     DSOs are key to upgrading and              Clearly, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’
 grids context.                            operating an increasingly more             approach to data management.
                                                                                      Different data hubs, formats and
                                                                                      market models have been and are
                                                                                      being implemented in different
                                                                                      European Union Member States.
                                                                                      The evolution of technology and ICT
                                                                                      systems, alongside the deployment
                                                                                      of smart meter infrastructure, will
                                                                                      enable much better observability and
                                                                                      operability of the distribution grid,
                                                                                      thus speeding up the achievement of
                                                                                      smart grids.

                                                                                      As competition and choices
                                                                                      increase for the customer, new data
                                                                                      privacy challenges emerge. The
                                                                                      transformation will lead to a ramp-up
                                                                                      in information and data flows, leading
                                                                                      to the need for appropriate measures
                                                                                      to be established to guarantee
                                                                                      secure, neutral and efficient data

                                                                                      A DSO-TSO BALANCING ACT
                                                                                      In contrast with the transmission
                                                                                      network, in which connected
                                                                                      customers and connection points

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