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In 2014, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission estimated that distribution system operators (DSOs) had invested EUR 700m in smart grid technology over the past 10 years. Research and demonstration projects are paying off, allowing DSOs to become central platforms for the energy transition by connecting responsive consumers, renewables and flexibility sources.
These new technologies, though, imply a revised asset base, operating costs and business models. To incentivise such investments and underpin the changing network economics, amendments to the Third Energy Package and national regulation are needed.
The four European associations representing electricity DSOs -- CEDEC, EDSO for Smart Grids, EURELECTRIC and GEODE -- debated these issues at this half-day conference.