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A new document pinpoints the future challenges - and highlights research-based solutions - to deliver cleaner, more sustainable electricity networks
The decarbonisation of Europe requires the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy such as wind, hydrogen, and solar power. However, established electricity networks were not designed for sources of energy that may be localised, intermittent, provide DC rather than AC electricity, or be of a different frequency to that already flowing through the grid.
To help address these problems EURAMET established the European Metrology Network for Smart Electricity Grids (EMN Smart Grids) in 2019 to act as a central nucleus to provide current and future measurement solutions in this area.
EMN Smart Grids members, leveraging their expertise, in close cooperation with multiple stakeholders at national and European levels, identified the major measurement challenges underlying industry needs. In response the EMN recently published its first Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) – an essential step to establish systems within the EMN to coordinate and align national R&D strategies.
The EMN, in the form of the SRA, pinpoints a wide variety of challenges hindering measurement practices for grid decarbonisation. These include renewable energy integration, the issue of revenue metering, cybersecurity, the integration of large amounts of data, and the increased energy demand due to modern electronics and the advent of electric vehicles.
By understanding sector requirements, the EMN’s SRA has devised targeted initiatives, prioritised research and development, and proposed innovative solutions to enable a cleaner, more sustainable energy grid.
Gert Rietveld, Senior Principal Scientist at VSL, National Metrology Institute of the Netherlands, and past EMN Smart Grids chair commented:
“Our network’s proactive approach in overcoming measurement challenges drives progress, innovation, and aligns very well with the EU Green Deal objectives. This is appreciated by our stakeholders that in turn extensively contributed to the development of the Smart Grid metrology SRA.”
The EMN Smart Grids Chair Stefano Lodetti from NPL, the UK’s National Metrology Institute, spoke about the new research agenda:
"The SRA represents a key enabler to enhance cooperation among National Measurement Institutes, engage with key players in the smart grids sector, and facilitate access to research results for industry to drive the implementation of innovative measurement R&D. These are pivotal objectives of the EMN to drive measurement research towards achieving decarbonisation of the electricity grid and unlocking the European climate goals."
Along with implementation roadmaps to guide and influence European research, the release of the SRA marks a significant contribution to grid decarbonisation and European climate goals.
EMN Smart Electricity Grids was supported by the joint network project 18NET03. EMPIR projects are co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States
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