April 5, 2019

The Smart Grid Discourse Arena: A global social network analysis

For shaping and adapting policy agendas and institutional change towards Smart Grids, it is of utmost importance to understand how discourses develop in the fast-changing reality of energy transition. This policy brief provides evidence about the smart grid related topics, which create most attention by actor groups and the public. The analysis is based on systematically observed global communication at the online social media platform, Twitter with with a dataset of more than 70 thousand messages between December 2015 and April 2018, which all include the hashtag #smartgrid and/or #smartgrids.

read more

March 22, 2019

Flexibility In Future Power Systems

Power system flexibility: the ability to manage change

Solutions providing advances in flexibility are of utmost importance for the future power system.
However, flexibility is not a unified term and is lacking a commonly accepted definition. The flexibility term is used as an umbrella covering various needs and aspects in the power system which complicates the discussion on flexibility and craves for differentiation to enhance clarity.

ISGAN Annex 6 has dedicated an activity on flexibility with the intention to support an increased understanding of the flexibility concept, proposing categorisation of flexibility needs in the power system.


  • In the discussion paper (DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22580.71047), the full report is provided from this activity, including description of the flexibility categories: Flexibility for Power, Flexibility for Energy, Flexibility for Transfer Capacity, and Flexibility for Voltage.


  • A poster including intermediate results were presented at the 8th International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (IRED) in Vienna in October 2018.

read more

March 21, 2019

Executive Summary of KTP on Public Support to Smart Grid RD&I

The 4th Knowledge Transfer Project (KTP) on Public Support to Smart Grid RD&I took place during 18-19 October 2018 in Vienna, Austria. The KTP was primarily caters to government funding agencies working daily on the design and implementation of funding programs to support Smart Grid development at national or regional levels. 

The purpose of this report is to give an account of a collaborative International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) project on public support and funding to Smart Grid Research, Demonstration and Innovation (RD&I), with focus on the use of Key Performance Indicators(KPIs).

read more

February 7, 2019

ICT aspects of TSO-DSO interaction

Data exchange and ICT requirements along organizational interaction between TSO and DSO

The main objective of this report is to assess the future data exchange and ICT requirements concerning the interaction of distribution and transmission networks, by identifying key challenges that deserve attention.

This report is based on a questionnaire regarding the ICT aspects of TSO-DSO interaction. The questionnaire contained questions regarding technical aspects (e.g. technical connection points between TSO and DSO in the countries), regulatory aspects, flexibility markets, drivers and barriers for TSO-DSO interaction as well as experiences from projects and lessons learned. The questionnaire was sent to the Annex partners and nine responses were collected. In particular Belgium, Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, United States, China, India and Austria have sent comprehensive answers.

Due to the integration of renewable energy sources, the interaction between TSOs and DSOs gets more and more important to handle the high volatility of generation and unexpected load growth in power grids. Additionally, new market mechanisms and the connected flexibilities require a closer interaction between TSOs and DSOs.

read more

January 1, 2019

Social costs and benefits of Smart Grid technologies

This Discussion Paper maps and reviews existing literature about costs and benefits of smart grid projects and identifies gaps in current guidance. The report also includes an analysis of how network regulation affects costs and benefits of smart grid technologies. The report allows selecting models/methods to be used by the Swedish Smart Grid Forum in order to assess different smart grid projects and applications. It also provides input for further work on the topic of decision making for smart grid technologies.

Smart grid technologies represent different ways to enhance the effectiveness of the power distribution and transmission system by making it possible to use existing power infrastructure more efficiently. Implementation of smart grid solutions could for instance, represent an alternative to investment in new power generation capacity or new power lines.
Many new smart grid technologies are available, but not yet deployed. In order to advance implementation, governments and other investors need decision support to evaluate investments in smart grid technologies.

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) offers a systematic process for comparing the advantages and disadvantages of a smart grid initiative from society perspective.
This report presents a mapping and analysis of existing literature on social costs and benefits of smart grid solutions and identifies gaps in current guidance. The study also includes a review on how network regulation affects incentives to invest in smart grid technologies and an analysis on how CBA constitutes an important input to the design of the network regulation. The report also serves as a basis for selecting models and methods to be used by the Swedish Smart Grid Forum in order to assess different smart grid projects and applications.

Due to the multifaceted and broad nature of smart grid technologies, CBA of smart grid deployment is complex as smart grid technologies provide benefits on a system level as well as on the project level. Smart grid technologies are also under fast development, which lead to a lack of data and uncertainty when extrapolating results from pilot projects to the system level.

Energy and climate goals as those identified on the European level as well as on a national levels aim to increase renewable energy, improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Smart grid technologies contribute to all these goals, not only directly but to large extent indirectly, which calls for comprehensive evaluation methodologies on a system level. Comprehensive analyses on the system level can provide input to CBA.
The aim of CBA is to identify all the gains and losses (benefits and costs) created by an initiative. The intention is to express the gains and losses in monetary terms irrespective to whom they accrue.

On a general level, CBA contains three mains steps. These are identification, quantification and valuation of the benefits and costs.

read more