CEDEC

Role of DSOs in future energy transition should not be underestimated

Brussels, 19 February 2015 - High-level representatives from the European DSO world gathered today in Brussels for the event “The future is distributed: a DSO perspective”. Their main message: the role of DSOs in the transition of Europe’s energy system should not be underestimated. Regulation, policy and financing schemes should support DSOs in fulfilling the objectives that the EU and national policy makers have set.

The conference was co‑organised by the four Brussels-based associations representing DSOs (CEDEC, EDSO for smart grids, EURELECTRIC and Geode) to present an open letter of joint recommendations to the incoming European Commission.

Divided into two sessions, the event first addressed the role of DSOs in the energy sector’s transition to 2030: smart grids, innovation, data management, and market facilitation. Speakers from each association then presented five recommendations for the incoming European Commission, with a view to empowering DSOs to contribute to the success of the evolving energy system, guaranteeing continued system stability and facilitating new services for customers. The session was followed by the public signing and handover of the letter to the Commission.

Erik Landeck, Vice Chairman of the EURELECTRIC DSO Committee, said: “DSOs are key to the EU’s energy transition. As the backbone of the European power system, distribution networks will integrate the vast majority of new wind and solar installations into tomorrow’s energy system. Today, we ask the new Commission to acknowledge the evolving role of the DSOs and equip them for their tasks.”

João Torres, EDSO Chairman, highlighted the readiness of DSOs to meet new demands in a smart way, and the need for regulation and policy to catch up: “DSOs, even more than TSOs, are facing more complex challenges than ever before, yet are being asked to continue operating according to rules set under a very different scenario.”

André Jurjus, CEDEC Vice-President and Director of Netbeheer Nederland, argued that in order to respond to new challenges, “DSOs need a new toolbox with innovative instruments to manage and develop their grid efficiently under the new circumstances.”

Reinhard Brehmer, GEODE President, highlighted the importance of DSOs’ innovative solutions which bring together customer benefits and technological evolution. The presented examples show how DSOs - regardless of their size - vouch for innovation, wherever the necessary funding and incentives are being provided.

The conference enabled a fruitful debate and showed a clear willingness on the part of DSOs to work together and with the European Commission to meet the 2030 agenda.