NGO Training: The Role of the Grid in the Energy Transition

Our extensive collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) made us aware that - as a key touch-point between civil society, industry and policy – representatives from NGOs often have to cover a far wider range of topics than their counterparts in other organisations. Ultimately, this leaves less time for them to stay abreast of the latest developments and to allocate resources accordingly. Our capacity building training, which consists of three modules in 2019, therefore aims at supporting NGOs to get a better understanding of the role of grids in a renewables-based electricity sector and approaches to minimise their environmental and societal impact. This first module was offered in the form of a one-day training course (which took place on 11th July 2019) with the follow-up modules developed as webinars.

NGO Training Session, 11th July 2019

For the first NGO Training Session: The Role of the Grid in the Energy Transition, we invited employees and volunteers of non-profit organisations to RGI HQ in Berlin Mitte for a day of lectures and interactive sessions led by experts from industry, research institutes, RGI and other NGOs. The training sought to give insights into how the power system is organised and operates, how renewables change the game (from a technical perspective) and the key environmental planning considerations of existing and new high voltage transmission projects. The ultimate aim was to empower civil society actors to engage with the technical aspects of the energy transition at the local and policy levels.  


Training Day Presentations

1) The power system: What is it and how is it organised? - Pradyumna Bhagwat, Florence School of Regulation

This presentation gives an overview of how the power system is organised as well as identifying the main players and their roles and responsibilities. It also examines key legislation which governs the system and delves into the technicalities of electricity markets and TSO functioning.

2) How does the energy transition impact the networks? - Dr. Lion Hirth, Neon/Hertie School of Governance

This presentation explores the questions of how the power system is transforming, the role of renewables and what challenges - and solutions thereto - come with this transformation.

Additionally, it looks to the economics of energy and electricity markets and zonal pricing, as well as the effects played by the current systemic transformation, such as European market integration and the electrification of other sectors. Further topics include the technicalities of load flow, redispatch and congestion management.

3) What transmission system will we need in the future? - Dr. Eva Schmid, Germanwatch

This presentation discusses how the need for new infrastructures is defined and grapples with the question of why grid extension is a key part of the solution. Additionally discussed was the abilities of a decentralised approach to reduce the need for grids.

Alongside her presentation, Dr. Schmid gave an interactive modelling session to demonstrate the arithmatic which inform grid development processes.

4) Planning and constructing an environmentally responsible grid - Andrew Carryer, RGI

This presentation focusses on the environmental aspects of grid development - an indispensable and often controversial aspect of the grid debate.

It discusses the main environmental impacts of grids as well as the planning and mitigation options open to TSOs, using best practice examples to illustrate. Looking to the future, Andrew's presentation asks what the current knowledge gaps and how we can fill them.

Digitisation in the electricity sector: Behind the buzzword, October 2019

How is digitisation in the electricity sector developing and how it can help enable our transition to a decarbonised electricity system? With presentations from those working practically with the technology on the ground, this session aims to give an overview of digitisation and 'get behind the buzzwords'.

WiseGRID: Wide scale demonstration of Integrated Solutions for European SmartGrid

In this presentation, Stamatia Gkiala Fikari, member of one WiseGRID pilot site team took us on a whistle-stop tour of the project. She explained the goals of the project and its practical implementation in Greece, Belgium, Spain and Italy.

RGI: Digitisation - A systemic view

In this presentation, Holger Loew, Senior Manager - Energy Systems at RGI gave a systemic view of digitisation in the energy system, including characteristics, risks and solutions, and asking the crucial question of how digitisation can be implemented for a sustainable enery transition.

NGO Campaigner Training: 'Of Pipes & Pylons - Is Europe planning energy infrastructure for a Paris Agreement compatible future?', March 2020

Is Europe planning energy infrastructure for a Paris-compatible future? This webinar session for NGOs examines the recently published energy scenarios of the Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020 (TYNDP). These scenarios form the basis of European energy infrastructure strategy for the coming decades by making assumptions on a whole range of variables relating to generation, management and consumption patterns in a number of potential future energy scenarios.

CAN Europe: The Ten Year Network Development Plans

In this presentation, Jörg Mühlenhoff from the Climate Action Network Europe gave explanations on the processes of the TYNDP scenarios, the technology assumptions made therein and the different scenarios contructed.

European Environmental Bureau: The Role of Gas in the TYNDP Scenario

In this presentation, Jonathan Bonadio, Policy Officer for Renewables, Climate and Grids at EEB gave the context on the role of gas in Europe's current energy mix and its forecasted role under the current TYNDP scenarios, as well as discussion the importance of system integration for building an alternative to gas.

Project partners

The NGO Training is organised in collaboration with EKLIPSE, a project funded by the European Commission


RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.