Page 24 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2017 publication
P. 24

24  Summer 2017 European Energy Innovation


Climate change: how digital
grids help in mitigation

Laurent Schmitt (pictured) is the new Secretary General of the European power transmission system
operators’ association, ENTSO-E. With his experience as a strategy leader in digital grids business, notably
for Alstom/General Electric, Laurent Schmitt explains how they can help Europe build its resilience against
climate change. He wants ENTSO-E to facilitate the fourth industrial revolution in the energy sector.

Power networks are key in                   microgrids connected to one another       chain. From wholesale markets
             fighting climate change. They  will compose digital power systems        facilitated at transmission level, to
             bring renewable energy to      enabling end to end transactions          market facilitation at distribution
             consumers. They will be part   through blockchain. The sum of these      level and down to aggregation of
of this network of networks needed for      systems interacting with each other will  prosumers’ flexibility.
the deployment of e-mobility, gas to        create the new Digital grid.
power, etc. But they will also more and                                               Digital grids will lead to new regulatory
more connect consumers to consumers         This requires a fundamental rethink of    options, bringing new choices and
allowing millions of peer to peer           how the power system is structured. Bi-   incentives to electricity consumers
transactions. And this transformation of    directional communication and flows,      and prosumers. Provided they opt in,
the power system has great potential in     storage upstream and downstream the       consumers will be exposed to real-time
reducing our carbon footprint.              meter, as well as dynamic controls of     electricity prices that will reflect scarcity
By 2020, there will indeed be in the        flexible demand need to be enabled.       of flexibility in the overall system. This
world more than 50 billion of devices       Markets also are called to evolve         in turn will help them make conscious
connecting prosumers with each              to allow a new way of managing            choices.
other. Constellations of prosumers’         transactions along the energy value
                                                                                      HOW IS THIS ‘POWER TO THE
                                                                                      PEOPLE’ HELPING FIGHT CLIMATE
                                                                                      European transmission system
                                                                                      operators were again facing extreme
                                                                                      weather conditions last winter with
                                                                                      temperatures registered once in every
                                                                                      twenty or fifty years. One suspects
                                                                                      these severe weather conditions will
                                                                                      increase as a consequence of climate
                                                                                      change. Digital grids can not only help
                                                                                      reduce our impact on climate but also
                                                                                      build our resilience vis-à-vis the effects
                                                                                      that we start experiencing.

                                                                                      I had the opportunity to directly
                                                                                      contribute to setting up smart cities and
                                                                                      neighbourhoods, putting in practice
                                                                                      the Digital grid concept.

                                                                                      Projects like NiceGrid in France
                                                                                      demonstrate that peer to peer

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