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DSOs need greater control of electricity networks - Eurelectric

04 May 2012 11:26:38 | edem

Distribution system operators (DSOs) will need a larger role in controlling electricity networks as renewable power expands in Europe, European industry association Eurelectric said in a statement on Thursday.

After holding a workshop on the subject, Eurelectric said DSOs should be "allowed to curtail power as necessary for managing local constraints and if requested by transmission system operators (TSOs) - system-wide grid stability".

The association said that a structured exchange of information between DSOs and TSOs should be established, with DSOs taking the role of operational information facilitator towards TSOs on generation embedded in their grids.

Eurelectric will call for the need for "an economic regulatory framework that incentivises innovation in smarter grids and allows DSOs to take responsibility in making the right investment decisions" at the Smart Energy and Sustainable ICT conference in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

The association plans to also highlight issues, such as DSOs' need for new tools, access to better information on distribution networks and a greater role in managing networks. Such changes would give DSOs a much greater role in the control of networks, which Per Hallberg of Eurelectric argues is necessary as their share of distributed generation increases.

Smart future

This echoes previous calls by the association on the European Commission to provide a clearer regulatory framework to support smart grid investments of DSOs rather than expecting the market to compensate for any lack of financing (see EDEM 21 June 2011).

Smart grids are designed to ease the integration of renewable and intermittent power sources into the distribution network by allowing operators to manage the changing set of flows and demands.

They are accompanied by smart meters, which are fitted into consumers' homes and businesses, and show how much energy is being used. Together they are designed to help reduce carbon emissions in a cost-effective manner (see EDEM 17 May 2010). RB

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