Innovative Grid Technologies Recognized As Key Enabler of Energy Transition in Europe
December 17, 2021
There is growing recognition of the importance of innovative grid technologies in Europe for delivering on the Fitfor55 – the EU’s plan for a 55% decrease in CO2 emissions by 2030.
Leading industry experts have welcomed the recent developments in this space, namely the new Consentec report commissioned by currENT showing that innovative grid technologies can reduce levels of congestion redispatch and renewables curtailment by as much as 90% in the given scenario, the ACER position paper on incentives for smart investments, and ENTSO-E’s Technopedia.
The central role of the grid has been at the forefront of recent global conversations surrounding the COP26 Summit in Glasgow last month. While there is debate on whether the revised climate pledges by national governments go far enough, there is global acceptance that we need to accelerate our collective progress.
Delivering on the 55% emission reductions targets requires near-term progress, as the value of reducing carbon emissions now is far greater than reducing the same level of carbon emissions in 10 years’ time – every day counts.
Rapidly deployable grid enhancing technologies, such as Smart Wires’ innovative, intelligent power flow control technology, SmartValve™, can accelerate this. By enabling earlier delivery of electric capacity than some conventional solutions, these technologies can support the faster more efficient connection of renewables, integration of new loads such as EVs, and ultimately access to lower cost clean energy for consumers with minimal disruption to local communities and the environment.
A new report ‘The Benefits of Innovative Grid Technologies’ states that using readily available innovative grid technologies can reduce levels of congestion redispatch and curtailment of renewables by as much as 90% in the given scenario in one region in Europe. currENT, the key association for innovative grid technology companies in Europe, commissioned Consentec to undertake this report looking at the combined impact of innovative technologies to reduce congestion and its associated costs in the European grid. In particular, Dynamic Line Rating and M-SSSCs, such as SmartValve, can each reduce the volume of redispatch and costs by 40-50%, and are ready for wide-scale implementation.
The need for greater use of these technologies is reinforced by ACER’s latest position paper on the role of regulation in incentivizing smart investments. ACER acknowledges that traditional regulation tends to favour higher cost solutions, and suggests a paradigm shift to incentivize greater use of innovative solutions that increase network efficiency and use of the existing grid, ultimately providing more immediate benefits to end consumers.
ENTSO-E provides a key resource through its new Technopedia – a collection of factsheets for innovative a technologies researched, demonstrated and deployed by Transmission System Operators. By making the latest information on these technologies available, ENTSO-E is advancing their use to unlock the full potential of the existing infrastructure and to transform the way power systems are managed.
Many of these technologies, such as SmartValve, have already been deployed across the world and are delivering real value to consumers. In the UK, National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) are using SmartValve to remove bottlenecks and unlock unused capacity on the existing network. NGET has already installed SmartValves across five circuits in the North of England, creating 1.5 GW of extra capacity; enough to power one million UK homes with renewable energy. NGET is scaling up three of the initial SmartValve deployments in 2022 to unlock extra capacity on the circuits, and ultimately transfer more renewable power to its customers in a timely and cost-effective way.
Reaching the energy targets between now and 2030 is the only way to achieve the ultimate goal of net zero by 2050. By implementing the wide range of grid enhancing technologies that are readily available today and driving forward innovation in new technologies, the grid can continue to evolve and be an enabler of Energy Transition.
 The geographic scope of the study is Germany, France, Benelux, Austria and Denmark.
currENT is the key industry association representing innovative grid technology companies operating in Europe. Our members are taking Europe’s power network to the next level – developing and supplying innovative technologies that optimise and maximise use and efficiency of the electric grid. These next-generation solutions advance the transition toward a decentralised, distributed and active power network: the future for Europe’s electricity industry. We are proud to be part of Europe’s energy sector: a hugely dynamic and intelligent industry that embraces change, thinks laterally, and is the envy of the world.