A project allowing to achieve the 2020 targets and the future vision of the Energy Policy for Europe concerning the increase in efficiency, reliability, quality and safety of the European electricity system
A key issue to achieve the targets is to have an effective integration of the distributed renewable generation, particularly Solar Photovoltaic (PV), Wind, Biomass and Small Hydro power, into our current and future electricity distribution grids:
- New and innovative technical solutions.
- New suitable regulatory and economic schemes at European scale.
The challenge for renewable energy policy is to find the right balance between installing large scale renewable energy capacity today and its effective integration in medium and low voltage grids. Finding this right balance means taking into account the following factors:
- Renewable energy helps to improve the EU's security of energy supply by increasing the share of domestically and locally produced energy, diversifying the fuel mix, decreasing energy imports and increasing the proportion of energy generated in politically stable regions.
- Renewable energies emit less greenhouse gases than fossil fuel units (or are neutral with reference to these emissions).
- In some cases, the use of distributed renewable energy is more competitive in economic terms in comparison to other energy solutions. Distributed renewable sources improve energy efficiency: these solutions reduce energy losses in the power system (at both levels: distribution and transmission).
- Economies of scale will be able to further reduce the costs of renewables.
The new challenges for DSO are the integration of large share of distributed renewable generation maintaining reliability and quality.
New technical issues for DSO to face the characteristics of the distributed generation:
- Volatility of generation production (PV, wind, biomass and hydro).
- Complexity to monitoring & forecasting & managing a huge number of small and medium generation units.
- Sudden, not planned loss of important generation blocks.
- Electromagnetic transients and quick reverse of power flows due to connection/disconnection of distributed generation devices causes new challenges for distribution network management (design, protection criteria and devices).
- Oscillations and other electromagnetic related perturbations in the low voltage networks.
Control technologies that enable a strategic response to change network conditions are essential to the basic functioning of the network as well as the business. Improved control systems can help to optimize the utilization of network capacity and enable the effective integration of renewable sources, to reduce the need for expensive network reinforcement, and also facilitate fault level calculations.