From Smart Grid EU, 2016
The EU electricity system faces challenges of unprecedented proportions. Although the electricity transmission and distribution networks have historically delivered secure and reliable supplies to customers, the key issue regarding the future evolution of the network reliability standards is associated with the question of efficiency of the use of existing assets and the role that advanced smart grid technologies could play in facilitating cost effective and secure evolution to lower carbon futures.
The historical network reliability standards and practices require that network security is provided through network asset redundancy, i.e. historical asset based paradigm may contradict the Smart Grid paradigm that focuses on novel, non-network asset solutions to network problems. The historical network reliability standards may impose barriers for innovation in network operation and design and prevent implementation of technically effective and economically efficient solutions that enhance the utilisation of the existing network assets and maximise network users’ benefits.
In this context, this paper sets out the case for a fundamental review of the philosophy of transmission and distribution network operation and design may be needed to inform the industry, consumers, regulators, policy makers, in order to facilitate a cost effective delivery of the EU energy policy objectives.