Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Demonstration and R&D are needed in interoperable technologies, services, tools, system integration, network synchronisation, co-ordination schemes, business models, cost-benefit analyses, market architectures and rules and regulatory regimes to plan, build, monitor, control and safely operate end-to-end networks across national borders. The integration of renewable energy and emergence of new services and uses of electricity will require major upgrades and reinforcements of the pan-European power system. A realistic implementation of the “smart grids” concept across national borders becomes a requirement to continue the safe operation of the grid.

Scope: Integrating and validating solutions to grid challenges, concentrating on field demonstration of system integration, up-scaling at industrial scale and supporting R&D. Preparing first replication of the solutions in different contexts and/or countries. Appropriate market models, business cases, user and general public acceptance, regulatory, market up-take (e.g. regulatory issues, capacity building and access to finance), social, environmental and resource efficiency aspects should be included. Opening up demonstration facilities for targeted practice-oriented education and training is encouraged. LCA and economic assessments should be refined

The priorities for Innovation Actions are focussed on:

  1. Demonstration and validation of emerging power, transmission and ICT technologies, including e.g. network synchronisation using European GNSS (global navigation satellite system) to increase transmission network flexibility, capacity and operational security (including resilience against disasters).

  2. Demonstration of new approaches to the wholesale electricity markets facilitating the participation of variable renewable energy sources.

  3. Demonstration of integration of active demand response and of variable renewable generation connected at distribution level to operations at distribution and transmission levels.

Market-uptake studies need to be integrated into the demonstration proposals. Potential risk of lock-in effects of early deployment should be taken into account.

Societal research needs to be integrated into the market uptake part. Societal research shall address concerns about data security, public acceptance and ensure that citizens see the clear financial benefit.

Particular priority elements for Research & Innovation Actions include:

  • Joint modelling and simulation of power systems and the underlying ICT infrastructure.

  • Interaction between the TSO and DSO, information exchange of RES availability, operational parameters and constraints between transmission and distribution systems.

  • Methods and tools for emerging transmission technologies to increase transmission network flexibility, capacity and operational security as well as grid asset maintenance and management to mitigate the costs of grid reinforcement, operation, maintenance, replacement, upgrade and development in the presence of very large share of renewable generation, also taking demand response into account.

  • Advanced architectures and tools for pan-European markets for ancillary services and balancing; Integration of advanced power electronics technologies into subsystems that enhance available network capacity and flexibility.

Selected proposals will be requested to cooperate through regular common workshops, exchange of non-confidential reports, etc. Proposals should address these activities in the description of the work. IPR issues will be fully respected.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 12 to 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: The proposals are expected to have one or more of the general impacts listed below:

  • Opening up the deployment of solutions for improving flexibility and available capacity of European electricity grids at high voltage levels to integrate renewable and other new electricity producers and users, while managing power flows or balancing while maintaining or enhancing service quality, reliability and security of the power system.

  • Demonstrating advanced grid technologies and system architectures and further developing the competitiveness of European industries.

  • Devising new market architectures and business models, disseminating effective architectures and models across Europe, demonstrating the infrastructures, processes and information management to develop the active participation of demand, and new players (such as aggregators) in energy markets.

  • Mitigating capital and operational costs of the grid modernisation required for the energy transition, and minimising environmental impact.

  • Better using scarce resources by maximising the up-scaling and replication of lessons learned from demonstration projects in Europe and by sharing of knowledge and practices.

  • Better coordination among activities promoted by Member States and at European level.

Type of action: Innovation Actions, Research & Innovation Actions

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