Milan, Italy --- (METERING.COM) --- September 21, 2012 - The European Electricity Grid Initiative (EEGI), which is fostering and supporting the development of smart grids in Europe, has released a new roadmap for public comment.

The roadmap, which is intended as an update on the EEGI’s 2010 research and innovation roadmap, is aimed to take account of subsequent European energy policy developments and to go from research projects to the early beginning of the industrialization stage of smart grids in Europe.

According to the roadmap, the European Commission’s energy roadmap to 2050 to decarbonize the energy system introduces new constraints which network operators must start considering. The pace of innovation must be accelerated, which will require both more research and innovation activities in parallel at European level, and to prepare deployment of the innovative solutions more efficiently.

The EEGI roadmap proposes an upgraded set of research and innovation activities in transmission and distribution. The transmission activities are those discussed in the ENTSO-E’s parallel R&D roadmap consultation, and fall into five clusters (grid architecture, power technologies, network operation, market designs, asset management).

The distribution activities also fall into five clusters (network planning and asset management, integration of smart customers, integration of distributed energy resources and new uses, network operations, market design). There is also a cluster for joint TSO/DSO activities.

The expected outcomes of these activities by 2022 are to:

  • Improve planning approaches for both transmission and distribution operators
  • Improve real time coordination techniques during daily operations at TSO level
  • Demonstrate the electric system benefits brought by a set of relevant power technologies which increase the overall conversion efficiency, favor renewables integration, and reduce the network environmental impacts
  • Demonstrate potential capabilities for large scale aggregation of small load and generation
  • Improve the medium and low voltage automation and parts of the distribution networks
  • Recommend for continuously improved market designs at European level
  • Make technical recommendation for the deployment of demand response in line with market design options.

Further, before 2030 two major impacts for the European electricity system can be expected:

  • To optimize the capital investment and OPEX intensity needed to increase the network capacity for grid users
  • To pave the way for a fully decarbonized system (extremely large share of renewable electricity production in the EU).

The cost of these activities is estimated to total €1.945-2.095 billion. This includes €0.755 billion for the transmission clusters, €0.94-1.09 billion for the distribution clusters, and €0.25 billion for the joint TSO/DSO cluster.

The roadmap is now open for consultation up to October 15.