The REPowerEU plan calls on Europe to fast forward its energy transition, building on the more ambitious climate targets set by the ‘Fit for 55’ package. With electricity as the key energy carrier for a carbon-neutral future, innovation in power networks needs to be sped up.
On 29 June, InnoGrid 2022 was held for its 11th Edition in which E.DSO and ENTSO-E are co-organisers. It gathered policy-makers, grid operators, grid users, market participants, innovators, academics, and civil society representatives to discuss how to accelerate innovation in three key areas: electricity grids, active customers, and flexibility. Around 200 participants met and enjoyed networking, also together with projects representatives in the exhibition area, and more than 300 people were connected online.
Opening the Conference, Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson underlined that: “The ripple effects of the Russian aggression to Ukraine have caused every aspects of our energy systems to change. We have entered into a new environment. The cooperation between DSOs and TSOs is crucial for the energy transition to happen.”
José Careto, E.DSO Vice Chair and CEO of E-Redes Portugal, stressed that: “This acceleration requires a pro-active position from system operators. This implies that the integration of all these new distributed resources (RES, EVs, storage, RECs) needs to be done and managed in a coordinated and responsible manner, so we can ensure the capabilities of our networks to act as a cost-effective backbone to this transition.”
Sonya Twohig, ENTSO-E Secretary General, highlighted that “Innovation in power system distribution and transmission and its fast uptake is key to Europe’s energy transition. The needs for flexibility will ramp up to ensure the stability and security of the power system with increasing share of variable renewable energy sources. Next to the necessary infrastructure developments, TSO/DSO cooperation, innovation and digitilisation are equally needed”.
This conference follows the online session on 14 June, where 13 innovative projects were showcased (presentations are available here and recording here). The key takeaways of the policy session of InnoGrid 2022 highlighted the need for allowing for new solutions to be developed and tested as well as the necessary framework to be set in place for an increased innovation uptake. All participants of InnoGrid 2022 emphasised the need to accelerate the development of a European toolbox answering the challenges we are facing today and preparing for a more secure and sustainable future.