ENTSO-E and DSO Entity are developing Digital Twin of the European electricity grid
Through their associations, ENTSO-E and EU DSO Entity, Europe’s transmission and distribution system operators will create a digital twin of the region’s electricity grid.
In a letter of intent, the two industry organizations committed to working together to develop the digital twin as part of the ongoing digitalization of the energy sector.
One of the proposals in the European Commission’s action plan for digitalizing the energy sector, released in October 2022, was for a digital twin of Europe’s electricity grid.
The digital twin will be an advanced virtual model of the European power grid. Its goal is to support the development of innovative solutions and the coordination of investment to improve the grid’s efficiency and smartness.
The following five areas are being prioritized: observability and controllability; efficient infrastructure and network planning; operations and simulations for a more resilient grid; active system management and forecasting to support flexibility and demand response; and data exchange between TSOs and DSOs.
According to Hervé Laffaye, President of the ENTSO-E Assembly, ENTSO-E and the DSO Entity are already collaborating in various areas to ensure a common approach for European electricity grids.
“It paves the way for a new activity in the common working effort, of which we are extremely proud.”
The President of the EU DSO Entity, Vincenzo Ranieri, added that the two organizations would work closely together to provide additional guidance to grid operators to optimize their investments in smartening the network.
“This will optimize how grid operators manage their network, unleashing resiliency and flexibility potentials. As a result, the European power system can effectively evolve as an enhanced open grid, allowing consumers to participate actively in the energy transition.”
Taskforce on Digital Twins
A joint task force will be established to develop a digital twin implementation plan and identify joint actions and deliverables.
The action plan anticipated that the digital twin would not be created all at once but would result from years of continuous investment and innovation, ensuring synergies with upcoming initiatives on virtual worlds such as the metaverse.
Parallel to this, the development of the digital twin is expected to be aided by the definition of a set of common smart grid indicators by regional and national regulatory authorities, allowing them to monitor and guide investments to smarten the electricity grid.
To achieve the ‘Fit for 55’ and REPowerEU plan targets, the EC’s digitalization action plan estimates that around €170 billion (US$180 billion) in digitalization investments will be required out of a total of around €400 billion in the distribution grid – and a total of €584 billion in the electricity grid as a whole – from 2020 to 2030.