Europe’s TSO group seeks feedback on research priorities to address ‘enormous’ transformation of energy system

Research is urgently required to give Europe’s energy system operators the tools to accommodate both hundreds of gigawatts of offshore wind and embedded DC networks in the power system of the future, and to ensure the system is able to use distributed and flexible resources while maintaining cyber security, says Entsoe. The group, which brings together Europe’s electricity transmission system operators, has asked for feedback on proposed research projects totalling €160 million over the next five years.
Enstoe says “the task ahead of transforming the European energy system is enormous”. It says its proposing project concepts “deep dive into the system challenges that TSOs identified in the long run” and address urgent issues.
It has split the projects into six ‘flagship’ topics.
• Flagship 1 aims to optimise cross-sector integration. Substantial work is needed to create a pan-EU integrated system view in planning, markets and regulatory conditions. Three projects are planned on mass smart charging of EVs (2021-2023); innovative models and tools for coordinated multi-sector operation and planning (2022-2024); and design of a pan-European cross-sector data model (from 2024).
• Flagship 2 focuses on increased electrification of final energy demand with increasing shares of renewables and other low-carbon sources, which requires cross-sector distributed flexibility, as well as more system planning and new market mechanisms. There were Horizon 2020 projects in this area and the next steps is scaling up prototypes and ensuring the solutions are fit-for-purpose. A single project will develop and demonstrate a cross-sector methodology for measuring and qualifying flexibility in distributed resources (2023-2025).
• Flagship 3 aims to enhance grid use. It will build on work on collaborative ICT platforms, coordinated planning and the interoperability of systems to lower lifecycle emissions and get maximum use from digitalisation. This has previously been addressed in national initiatives. There are two projects: SF6-free alternatives for high-voltage equipment (2021-2024); new asset management procedures that lower the carbon footprint of TSO investments (2022-2024).
• Flagship 4 aims to integrate offshore wind – 100 GW by 2030 and several hundreds of GW by 2050 – into the grid. Recent projects have focused on coordinated planning and regulatory issues and most technical issues are thought to be solved. The gap is interoperability and governance. Two projects will focus on: an interoperability framework for multi-terminal multi-vendor HVDC systems (2021-2025); a pilot project, building on the interoperability framework (2025 onwards).
• Flagship 5 focuses on hybrid AC/DC grids, as more DC projects are embedded in the system and have to be modelled and managed. These are “urgently required next steps” and there are two projects: developing and testing methodologies and procedures for inertia management by solar PV, wind, batteries, EVs, HVDC at system-wide level (2022-2024); and develop methodologies to assess hybrid AC/DC transmission systems and simulation models (2022-2024).
• Flagship 6 aims to enhance control centres’ operations and interoperability. With increased digitalisation of the system, cyber resilience also emerges as a key concern. Next steps towards the control centre of the future include a higher degree of interoperability in TSOs’ Energy Management Systems, a further focus on AI-driven solutions and especially on mitigating cyber risks. Two projects will focus on developing: develop risk assessment methodologies for control centre cyber resilience, with collaboration schemes and joint emergency exercises (2023-2025); secure, robust, AI-enabled and open IT solutions for the future control centres with a framework for accommodating vendor-independent modules (2024 onwards).
Entsoe wants feedback on the proposals by 4 August.
Full details here

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