On 6th April 2022, a webinar was hosted to officially launch the last ETIP SNET publication, the R&I Implementation Plan (IP) 2022-2025 and outline the research priority needs for these next four years.
One of the main goals of the ETIP SNET is to draft Roadmaps (RMs) and Implementation Plans (IPs), which are regularly updated. The RM 2020-2030 defined the six main Research Areas that needed to be addressed. The IP 2022-2025 reuses the basic ideas defined in the previous RM and IP, including the Research Areas, and introduces the new concept of High Level Use Cases (HLUCs) and the Priority Project Concepts (PPCs) that describe families of projects providing tangible results and thus are more comprehensive and better adapted to the European course for research.
The purpose of this webinar was to officially launch the IP 2022-2025, which has recently been published on the Publications Office of the European Union, and outline the research priority needs for these next four years. The webinar was organised in three panel sessions, each focusing on three HLUCs and the relevant PPCs they comprise:
- Session 1: HLUC 1,3,8 - Speakers: Nikos Hatziargyriou and Goran Strbac
- Session 2: HLUCs 2,4,6 - Speakers: Aris Dimeas and Nuno Silva
- Session 3: HLUCs 5,7,9 - Speakers: Rainer Bacher and Antonello Monti
The speakers presented the ETIP SNET’s view on how the future research is organised in HLUCs, and Project Concepts. Moreover, a number of project families have been suggested in each HLUC that are considered a priority. These Priority Project Concepts have been discussed in detail, while also providing various aspects that need to be resolved. The relevant outcomes have been the result of extensive discussions among the stakeholders of the ETIP SNET and indicate the consolidated views of the industry and the operators on what needs to be done for the systems to reach the decarbonisation goals.
Key discussions and main features
Based on the interactions with the participants about their feedback on the presented HLUCs and the PPCs the following issues have been raised and discussed:
- There are challenges on how solutions related to integrated management are going to be actually deployed and implemented considering the deregulation policies. In this respect, it is important to provide evidence regarding the role and value of energy vector integration and what needs to happen towards moving into this integration. Moreover, if the market is open to actually integrating different sectors, benefits are expected towards achieving the low carbon goals more cost-effectively.
- Electric Vehicles (EVs) are going to play a major role in enhancing resilience at the local level. It is important to consider the proper transition from providing resilience at the national level (or at the local level in microgrids) toward providing resilience at the mega-grids level.
- Regarding the potential of a new market model to be tested in reality, it has been noted that the relevant experience already exists through regulatory sandboxes and relevant solutions that have been developed in several Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects. Additional examples are indicated in BRIDGE and its Working Groups related to markets and regulations. Some of these regulatory sandboxes have lasted for months (or even a year), to satisfy the relevant project’s requests.
Regarding the adoption of PPCs by EU funded projects, it has been noted that the creation of the Horizon Europe Work Programme is a complex mechanism. In this respect, it is important to widely disseminate the ETIP SNET Implementation Plans, particularly to the players that are contributing towards drafting the relevant Work Programmes. The European Commission can help towards achieving this goal. Additionally, it is important to inform the Member States as well about the IP’s content. In this respect, the ETIP SNET is in contact with Member States through the National Stakeholder Coordination Group. Finally, the upcoming ETIP SNET “Regional Workshops” aim to enhance close interaction with the Member States representatives.
To bring the IP to the attention of a wide array of stakeholders, bilateral discussions between the European Commission and the ETIP SNET will be held in order to define the way to go forward in the most efficient way.
In 2021, the European Commission (EC) put forward a comprehensive proposal to implement the European Green Deal and guide the energy transition. The fit-for-55 package aims to reduce the net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. In July 2021, the Commission adopted the first package of relevant legal proposals, which were later further refined in December 2021.
The geopolitical tensions that have recently erupted have introduced quite dire and unpredictable consequences, including a significant impact on the energy markets. The EC adopted on March 8th the REPowerEU plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030 while also outlining a series of measures to respond to the rising energy prices in Europe over the past few months and accelerating the European Green Deal. The comprehensive development of the REPowerEU plan is being prepared for publication by mid-May 2022.
Against this very complex background, with numerous challenges of economic, social, environmental and political nature, it remains instrumental that Europe accelerates its efforts in research and innovation (R&I). The development of smart and digitalised energy networks and services, capable of flexible generation and consumption that keep the consumer at their core, needs high investments but also high innovation capacity and market uptake. In this respect, proposing new solutions, testing them, scaling them up and rolling them out for production is crucial.
The new European energy scene lays down the framework for the common work together with the ETIP SNET. The ETIP SNET is one of the European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP) that the EC has set up to identify the R&I priorities and support the European energy transition. The previous Implementation Plans (IPs) offered significant information to the Commission towards shaping the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. The recently published IP 2022-2025 greatly updated that information and helps to form the upcoming work program 2023-2024 of Horizon Europe.
The mission of the ETIP SNET is not limited to smart electricity grids but encompasses the integration of all energy grids. The ETIP SNET brings together the main stakeholders of the energy sector and more than 350 experts from all around Europe. In this respect, the ETIP SNET consolidates the views of the main stakeholders of the energy market, including operators, national representatives, Research & Academia, equipment manufacturers, ICT, storage, flexible generation, etc.
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