Smarter power grids play a central role in moving Europe towards a low carbon energy economy
Smarter power grids needed
A recent report by the JRC on transmission network planning and grid controlling underlines that a radical change, in coordinated network planning and operation, is needed to accommodate market liberalisation and the increasing integration of renewable power sources. Smarter power grids have a central role in moving Europe towards a low carbon energy economy, as underlined by the European Union's Strategic Energy Technology Plan Information System (SETIS) , led by the JRC.
The recent JRC review of existing methods for transmission planning and for grid connection of wind power plants is state of the art in this field and leads the way for future developments. The report’s findings and recommendations include:
- Transmission planning must change drastically to accommodate market liberalisation and increased integration of wind and other sources of renewable power.
- Grid expansion should focus on achieving better coordination between Transmission System Operators (TSOs) through integrated strategic planning and cross-border cooperation.
- Transmission planners should take a smarter approach in integrating ‘variable’ power sources such as wind, solar, hydro and wave, which do not generate consistent levels of power (e.g. by balancing the variable power with storage technologies).
- TSOs should prioritise the emerging challenge of integrating the future transmission system (hosting large-sized generation, both conventional and renewable) with smart distribution grids (embedding dispersed small sized energy sources and storage).
- A more harmonised and market-based framework is required to overcome planning and regulatory differences at national level, and to realise the potential synergies between offshore energy projects and cross-border trade in electricity.
- SETIS - Strategic Energy Technology plan Information System
- JRC at AAAS 2010
- Press release: Smart electricity transmission systems needed to achieve the full potential of renewable energies
- Information about the EPRI research program on grid code requirements and wind plant Interconnection issues
- AAAS 2010: Smart and secure transmission grids to realise the US and EU renewable potentials
- REALISEGRID Report on methods for transmission planning and for grid connection of wind power plants in Europe