We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
In the context of the European Forum for Science and Industry, the JRC organises a series of Round Table discussions on Energy transition from a European perspective. In this framework the JRC prepares a Round Table on "Scientific support to electrical transmission and distribution systems" on 27 September 2013.
The European electricity market is dramatically changing in light of the increased use of intermittent renewable energy sources, creating new challenges to the network infrastructure and to energy markets. The supply of affordable and sustainable energy is crucial to competitiveness, jobs and growth.
Scientific support is crucial regarding the access to the grid. More investment, efficient management, transparency and a more active cooperation is needed. Cross-border trade and exchange of electricity needs more cooperation between all European actors involved. This is important not only for a more active internal market but also for security of supply. New technical possibilities and a completed internal market for energy could open up new business models supporting a European energy transition. Encouraging innovation and cooperation across Europe could lead to considerably lower transition costs.
Two thematic sessions will discuss:
Stakeholders from European and Member State authorities, energy utilities, transmission and distribution system operators, industry, financial services and consumers are invited to participate in this Round Table hosted in the framework of the JRC European Forum for Science and Industry. The Round Table should underpin the science-based understanding of the challenges to the electricity system created by intermittent energy sources. It is to use this understanding as a basis for formulating policy recommendations on how to tackle these challenges in the most efficient way.
Is the traditional focus on networks well placed to fully accommodate the on-going process of energy transition? Or do we need improvement, e.g., through implementation of uniform, government-coordinated procedures and criteria for a market-based management by network operators and/or reactive power suppliers – taking into account regional strategic optimisation of generation, interconnections, transmission and distribution systems – to increase the security of supply and minimise the costs?
How should regional network development and cooperation be improved and what can be learned from existing initiatives of regional and bilateral cooperation between TSOs and regulators? Would, e.g., common minimum standards for data quality from power plant operators help to create forecasts to optimize regional balancing power markets (active & reactive power)?