Brussels, Belgium --- (METERING.COM) --- September 20, 2012 - Europe’s transmission system operators, through their association ENTSO-E, have released for consultation a draft research and development roadmap for the period 2013-2022.

The draft roadmap outlines a methodology that is aimed to achieve Europe’s climate energy objectives, including the 2020 and 2050 targets, and lay the groundwork for upcoming electricity highways, smart grids and the change to a low carbon electricity system.

According to the draft roadmap, three strategic R&D goals are identified for the next 20 years. These are to lay the technological groundwork for the future transmission system, to integrate renewable energy sources into the market, and to foster joint R&D and knowledge sharing between the TSOs.

These in turn lead to Roadmap targets, from which six “innovation clusters” have been formulated focusing on specific activities:

  • Cluster 1: Grid architecture – to provide a set of validated methods for developing network infrastructure that can host massive amounts of renewable energy sources and growth in demand with acceptable network investments and operating costs beyond 2020.
  • Cluster 2: Power technologies – to address the affordability and technical performance of components of emerging technologies that can significantly improve the operations of the interconnected transmission systems.
  • Cluster 3: Network operation – to study ways of operating transmission systems that maintain high security of supply at reasonable costs.
  • Cluster 4: Market designs – to study the ways and means to facilitate interactions between the European electricity markets and the pan-European grid.
  • Cluster 5: Asset management – to find the most beneficial asset management strategy on a cost effectiveness basis (“value for money”).
  • Cluster 6: Joint TSO/DSO R&D activities – to evaluate the smart grid initiatives by DSOs and their possible utilization for supporting the transmission grid with regulation and ancillary services provided at the interface with the distribution system.

The costs of the proposed R&D activities are estimated at €1.005 billion. This is less than 1 percent of the estimated infrastructure investment requirements of €104 billion of ENTSO-E’s earlier Ten-Year Network Development Plan, notes the Roadmap. It is also modest when put into relation with investments required in other sectors and when compared with the potential benefits.

By performing R&D, transmission operators will be in a position to progressively identify needs for new functionality and technology for their network in a more coordinated fashion, the draft roadmap says. Furthermore, R&D provides a means of mitigating the potential risks of failures in energy policies and infrastructure investment.

The draft Roadmap is open for consultation until October 15. The release of the R&D Roadmap 2013-2022 is scheduled for December 2012.