The European Technology & Innovation Platforms (ETIPs) have been created by the European Commission in the framework of the new Integrated Roadmap Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) by bringing together a multitude of stakeholders and experts from the energy sector.

The ETIP Smart Networks for Energy Transition (SNET) role is to guide Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I) to support Europe's energy transition, and results from the merging of the previous initiatives EEGI (European Electricity Grid Initiative), Grid+ and Grid+Storage, and the SmartGrids ETP (European Technology Platform).

More specifically, its mission is to:

  • Set-out a vision for RD&I for Smart Networks for Energy Transition and engage stakeholders in this vision.
  • Prepare and update the Strategic Research and Innovation Roadmap.
  • Report on the implementation of RD&I activities at European, national/regional and industrial levels.
  • Provide input to the SET Plan action 4, which addresses the technical challenges raised by the transformation of the energy system.
  • Identify innovation barriers, notably related to regulation and financing.
  • Develop enhanced knowledge-sharing mechanisms that help bring RD&I results to deployment.
  • Prepare consolidated stakeholder views on Research and Innovation to European Energy Policy initiatives.

Many European organizations submitted their applications to have their members present in the 5 Working Groups that were created within the ETIP-SNET organization. R&D Nester was selected to be represented in 4 Groups of ETIP-SNET, based on the CVs of the staff and the organization.


Reliable, economic and efficient smart grid system

Nuno Souza e Silva was nominated, and approved by ETIP-SNET, to collaborate with Working Group 1 - Reliable, economic and efficient smart grid system 

This Working Group addresses business and technology trends contributing to the overall energy system optimization at affordable investment and operation costs. It will focus on system aspects, addressing the main functionalities, quality and efficiency of the electricity system as such and consider the benefits of its integration with the other energy vectors. The flexibility options investigated in WG1 are: new transmission and distribution technologies (power electronics for instance), setting up interfaces with storage, demand response, flexible generation and synergies with other energy networks (i.e. how to couple the electricity networks with the gas and heat networks). WG1 also follows Set Plan Action 4 related to grid smartening in the sense of grid observability and controllability (i.e. tools for managing the variability and uncertainty of operational conditions at several timescales), increased grid hosting capacity and economic efficiency of the system through the use of ICT.


Storage technologies and sector interfaces

Ricardo Pastor was the researcher nominated, and approved by ETIP-SNET, to represent R&D Nester in this working group.

Working Group 2 addresses the technological and market developments related to energy storage solutions to ensure the required level of flexibility for the transmission and distribution of electricity. It will consider all the different energy storage options, including power-to-power, power-to-gas, hydro and marine storage, CAES, thermal mass of buildings, hot water storage, etc., and their direct or indirect interface and interaction to the power networks. WG2 covers the entire value chain of all energy storage options, starting from the development and demonstration of new materials, technologies and solutions, and addressing their integration into the overall energy system, the evaluation of their impact on flexibility and the related costs/benefits.


Digitisation of the electricity system and Customer participation

Ricardo Cartaxo was the researcher nominated, and approved by ETIP-SNET, to represent R&D Nester in this working group.

Working Group 4 addresses the use and impact of the Information and Communication Technologies as a pervasive tool along the entire value chain of the power generation, transportation and use. The communication layer is one of the pillars of the smart energy system, enabling system observability, monitoring, control and protection, specifically enabling a radical change in the relation between the final user and the energy system. New digital tools (i.e. from smart meters to social networks) linked to the Internet of Things will aim to favour Customer participation in all stages of the development and expansion of the energy system thanks to the analysis of big data generated. The widespread use of digital technologies however needs to be accompanied by suitable measures for data and information protection from malicious intrusions and attacks (cybersecurity) and from uncontrolled use of customers data (data privacy).

In order to address all these topics, inside the group, three task forces were created:

  • Task Force 1: Digital Technologies and reference architectures and standards;
  • Task Force 2: Digital Energy Disruptive Use Cases;
  • Task Force 3: Digital Cyber-security recommendations.

R&D Nester is monitoring all task forces and participating on Task Force 3, which is particularly relevant in the context of the current R&D Nester activities.

Among the members of this Working Group, there are participants from all over the world and from the most relevant stakeholders: TSOs, consumers (electricity retail companies), DSOs, ICT Technology providers, Renewable Energy resources, research and academia and telecommunication service providers.

By participating in WG4, R&D Nester improves its visibility not only in power systems domain, but also on communications network field, taking advantage of the networking and knowledge sharing opportunity provided.

It is also allowing R&D Nester understanding the roadmap for European RD&I concerning power systems digitalization and contributing for this roadmap to go in the best direction, holistically anticipating the future needs of all stakeholders.


Innovation implementation in the business environment

Nuno Pinho da Silva and Nuno Souza e Silva were the researchers nominated, and approved by ETIP-SNET, to represent R&D Nester in this working group.

Working Group 5 (WG5) focuses on how the R&D of Europe (national or European) in the Energy area can be utilised in support of innovative activities that will positively transform the business environment in Europe. It adopts a helicopter view of the activities carried out in the projects within the perimeter of the ETIP about the energy transition in order to:

  • Build homogeneity in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of projects, work done and lessons learned
  • Create a common platform for analysing the progress made with technologies, systems and solutions through-out the EU and facilitate their scalability and replicability;
  • Build a methodology to judge system needs in the energy transition capable of identifying tangible needs for building on progress made and give feedback to the other WGs for populating their R&I needs in the years ahead;
  • Identify the barriers which may slow down business model deployment;
  • Search for innovative solutions that will maximize the benefits of the innovation process that EU achieves through R&I activities in the area of Energy.

WG5 includes members from manufacturers, producers, gas and electricity transmission and distribution network operators, retailers, consultants, innovation platforms, research centres and universities.

By partaking in WG5, R&D Nester benefits from an international networking and knowledge sharing environment with holistic awareness of the European RD&I outputs in the Energy area, deployment barriers and Energy systems needs to anticipate its clients' needs and timely develop innovative solutions well-tuned to the new energy paradigm.

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