Report highlights need for data revolution to facilitation EU energy transition

A new report on data management in the EU electricity networks asserts that a revolution in information exchange between electricity transmission and distribution system operators is a precondition to Europe's energy transition.

The report compiled by the bloc’s electricity networks warns that with more variable generation and distributed loads, the EU's electricity system is operating closer to its limits.
"With more customer participation and more decentralized generation, flexibility providers connected to the distribution grid are significantly and continuously increasing," the report said.

Platts reports that these new actors could help support system security, but the management of data between TSOs and DSOs needs an overhaul. Data exchange must support all parties to perform efficiently and allow the emergence of new market players, the report said in setting out eight recommendations.

Recommendations include the following:

The focus should be on services needed rather than on platforms.

Third parties should be able to access grid data to perform their activities.

Those responsible for data management should be neutral to all market players.

Standardisation and interoperability of data exchange is needed first at national and then at EU level.

Flexibility providers should be able to offer their service for different purposes, where they are valued the most and independently from the grid they are connected to.

Efforts are needed to avoid "harmful interference between congestion management (mainly at distribution level) and balancing (at transmission level)."

Finally, TSOs need to access data of customers connected to the distribution grid directly or indirectly if they become flexibility providers to the TSO, it said.

Europe is only at the beginning of the energy transition, with the report predicting a huge shift towards distributed generation that will force "whole system" thinking on companies currently delineated by voltage level.

The report is to be used by the European Commission as input into its Market Design and Renewables package, with proposals due by the end of the year.

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