RGI interviewed 22 system operator senior executives (16 TSOs and 6 DSOs) from 16 different European countries to understand their perspectives on the most pressing topics facing the power sector. We have collected their answers in our publication "European Grid Perspectives".
The transformation of the European power system to one based on renewables is necessary if we are going to halt climate change. This will require a shift in how the electricity grids, the backbone of the power system, are developed and operated. To help understand what this future could look like, RGI collected the personal perspectives of senior managers from European electricity grid operators, discussing topics from technology and regulation, to future roles and responsibilities. RGI did this in order to identify where there is significant consensus and to inform the wider society of the personal perspectives of grid operators. This is core to RGI’s mission to increase transparency, to build coalitions and to jointly show the path to a decarbonised power system.
From the discussions we identified six common perspectives which are detailed in this report. From these perspectives, we have drawn a set of main findings, these are:
Electricity grid operators believe that the energy transformation is feasible and want to be proactive in enabling it.
There is consensus on many of the technical solutions the system needs to enable the integration of very high shares of renewables.
Electricity grid operators often described the relationship between themselves and the public in adversarial terms. This mindset is unhelpful and may compound negative perceptions.
Electricity grid operators expressed technological non-discrimination, although personal preferences or involvement in hand-picked pilots may put this position into question.
Grid operators both see their future as market and digital platform facilitators. Increased cooperation should take precedent over gaining competitive advantage.
Effective communication of the options available to society must be enhanced to increase transparency of the decision-making process.
Andrew Carryer joined RGI in November 2014. He is responsible for RGI’s environmental protection and nature conservation work. Andrew holds an MSc in Environment and Development from the University of Edinburgh, specialising in international energy policy. He previously worked in the solar PV sector and has interned at the South African offices of a global environmental consultancy, where he assisted on environmental and social impact assessments.