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Smart grid tools on the EU’s Innovation Radar

Seven technologies developed to help transform Europe’s electricity grid gain EU recognition.

Digital Economy icon Digital Economy
Energy icon Energy

To ensure long-term energy security, the EU needs to upgrade its energy system. With this goal in mind, the EU-funded EUniversal project is helping to transform European electricity grids using innovative tools that overcome current energy system limitations. Some of these tools have now been recognised by the EU’s Innovation Radar, an initiative to identify cutting-edge innovations being developed by leading EU-funded researchers and innovators.

Tools for secure, stable and sustainable electricity supply

A total of seven EUniversal tools have been recognised by the Innovation Radar. They include a low-voltage (LV congestion forecasting tool) for calculating the risk for congestion a day ahead and a data-driven state estimation tool that offers a real-time snapshot of LV networks with estimates of voltage magnitudes and active power injections. Another technology featured is data-driven voltage control for LV networks, which, as stated in a news item posted on the EUniversal project website, includes “a privacy protocol for handling personal data like active power measurements.” The news item goes on to report that the tool can run in real time for corrective voltage control, or in predictive mode to support bid selection and help distribution system operators (DSOs) identify flexibility needs. The fourth innovation recognised is a data-driven approach to estimate flexibility needs for solving under- or over-voltage problems. It includes a privacy protocol for handling personal data such as power consumption. Fifth is investment- and resilience-informed planning of distribution networks. As the news item explains, this tool helps DSOs make well-informed decisions “on the best portfolio options for enhancing their resilience against extreme weather and natural hazards, while achieving efficient trade-offs between reliability, resilience and cost.” Next, the optimal flexibility bid recommender is an engine that identifies the optimal bids to select from the flexibility market so as to resolve grid congestions at minimal cost. The tools featured on the Innovation Radar are rounded out by Redispatch 2.0 combined with flexibility markets. Combining Redispatch 2.0 – Germany’s new unified approach to dispatching that aims to improve grid stability – with a market-based approach helps to “mitigate grid constraints in a cascaded operation from the low voltage to high voltage level,” according to the news item. These and other technologies are being tested in three demo sites in Germany, Poland and Portugal. In Portugal, EUniversal project coordinator DSO E-REDES is engaging 70 residential and business customers in a demo investigating “a range of novel use cases to validate a universal interface for activating flexibility,” states an article posted on ‘Smart Energy International’. The four use cases are congestion management in medium-voltage (MV) grids, “integrated voltage control in MV and LV grids for the day-ahead market and voltage control and congestion management for days/weeks in advance and for medium and long-term grid planning.” In Germany, the demonstration involves testing solutions to support the large-scale integration of renewables, while the Polish demo is investigating tools to improve distribution network monitoring and control. As reported in the article, the EUniversal (MARKET ENABLING INTERFACE TO UNLOCK FLEXIBILITY SOLUTIONS FOR COST-EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF SMARTER DISTRIBUTION GRIDS) project’s key planned outputs are a flexibility toolbox identifying the best technologies and systems for providing flexibility services to the grid and flexibility assessment tools for quantifying availability in different network locations. For more information, please see: EUniversal project website


EUniversal, Innovation Radar, voltage, energy, grid, electricity grid

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