R&D Gaps

The R&D gaps have been significantly reduced, from 64% in 2013 to 45% today. Analyses are performed for each cluster in order to identify the main remaining gaps.

The gap analyses have shown that even though there are many ongoing projects, a significant effort is still required in some areas.

The replacement of existing grid infrastructure is forcing TSOs to search for the best possible balance between investing in new power technologies, while optimising and prolonging the performance of existing ones. The TSO/DSO interface should also receive significant attention in order to increase system observability and deploy new services that ensure overall system security.

In addition, considerable effort is still needed to design and implement the internal electricity market and to incentivise new system services with respect to the allocation methods for the capacity and reserves in order to cope with uncertainties from renewable energy sources, load, and system disturbances.

Areas of main R & D gaps:

1. Asset management aims to validate the benefit of individual lifetime assessment compared to an average assessment of several similar components based on generic parameters (age of equipment, switching steps, etc.) and to establish evaluation/­estimation protocols for component statuses that are comparable across TSOs. In ­addition, maintenance activities with the network ‘on’, especially for DC equipment, and implementation of robotics for problem detection have not yet been addressed.

2. Joint TSO/DSO activities and improved coordination between boundary grids aim to develop simulation tools and methods that detect weaknesses in the system with respect to the reconnection of distributed energy resources and storage systems and the risk of breakdowns caused by reconnection. Emerging ancillary services from ­aggregated small-energy sources and demand response and management at the DSO level provide extra means and system services for TSO operation. New modelling methods and tools for steady-state and dynamic analyses should also be developed.

3. Market design aims to investigate interactions between system operations, dynamic capacity, reserve allocation methods, and design grid tariff mechanisms for active demand-side management and to correlate the load curve and integration of ­renewable energy sources at the regional and pan-European levels.

For more details on additional results of the gap ana­lyses performed for each cluster, refer to Appendix 1 (enclosed in the download PDF).

Mark

Recommendations

Acquiring and sharing new knowledge produced in the framework of R&D activities is vital for achieving the goals set in the R&D Roadmap. Systematic approaches are needed in order to perform the collection and sharing of knowledge in a simple and efficient way. This will help to embed outcomes and new competencies within the ­European electricity industry and to foster new R&D ­activities at both academic and industry levels.

It is paramount to share all new knowledge gained through R&D. Knowledge sharing of this nature, which is mostly restricted between project partners, must be disseminated to reach different stakeholders at the European level. When documented as lessons learnt or best practices, knowledge sharing will not only help to stimulate active participation in R&D ­activities but will also help to shape future R&D ­projects by concentrating work on known R&D gaps.

It is important to understand that it will often be ­impossible to develop one-size-fits-all solutions for all applications.

The immense scope of European transmission networks means that there will always be differences in opinions and approaches. Therefore, open discussion should always be encouraged between experts in the European electricity sector.

Finally, R&D results have been applied one way or ­another in TSO businesses; however, to highlight their contributions to achieve EU energy objectives, some demonstration with recently developed R&D outputs should be performed. This will be one of the orientations of our R&D activities for the years to come.