December 10, 2020

Lessons learned from international projects on TSO-DSO interaction

Annex 6 presents the lessons learned from international projects on TSO-DSO interaction.

This discussion paper identifies and consolidates the lessons learned from international projects, use cases, and best practices on TSO-DSO interaction. The results have been obtained from projects that are still in their early phases based on their preliminary findings as well as those that have reached their dissemination stages. Furthermore, this work aims to present a global view of developments of TSO-DSO interaction based on collaboration from stakeholders within the ISGAN community, as well as additional collaboration partners (TSOs, DSOs, project leaders, etc).

The main target audience is focused toward stakeholders who are familiar with the topic and will provide them with an overview and reference towards projects such that the lessons learned can be considered within future projects. The video provides a high-level overview which encapsulates the main findings, while this report forms a supplementary consolidation of the results in order to provide additional information in more detail.

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November 6, 2020

Key Messages Annex 6 – Power Transmission & Distribution Systems

In this document we describe the Drivers for change regarding generation, grid, and demand; the Resulting consequences on operation and planning of the power transmission and distribution systems; and the Needs to ensure sustainability & security of supply with respect to technology, market innovations and policies.

Power systems around the world are faced with a wide range of challenges in order to realize the objective to integrate an increased amount of renewable energy sources in the modern electricity grids. The consequences affect the daily operation and longterm planning of transmission and distribution systems, and the network owners and operator’s ability to ensure continuous, reliable and high quality of supply to the customers. The needs of each actor within the electrical supply chain provide drivers for revision of current practices and promotes future adaptions of functional components and systems, economic and regulatory areas.
This document provides insights in the work of ISGAN Annex 6, in form of key messages consolidated from the views of the focus areas

  • Technology Trends and Deployment
  • Expansion Planning and Market Analysis
  • System Operation and Security
  • Transmission and Distribution System Interaction

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Electric Vehicle and Power System Integration: Key insights and policy messages from four CEM initiatives

This report summarises the opportunities to couple the road transport and power system sectors. It articulates policy messages based on current experience, with a particular focus on the role of critical stakeholders in a transformation that crosses multiple sectors.

It’s an outcome of the CEM Horizontal Accelerator project. The Horizontal Accelerator (HA) is an innovative collaboration in the CEM, focusing on exploring ways in which the transport and power systems can work in the most efficient, sustainable, secure, and resilient way. It brings the work of four CEM workstreams – International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN)Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI)Power System Flexibility (PSF) Campaign, and 21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP), generating best practices and integrated policy messages. Thanks to the support from the lead and participating governments of these CEM workstreams and strong analytical input from the workstreams coordinators, the project continued gathering momentum even during the lock-down provoked by covid-19. The collaboration brought together stakeholders from the business industry, analytical institutions, national and local governments for an interactive workshop on 19-20 April, and generated a number of key insights.

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October 5, 2020

IEA ISGAN releases it’s Public Annual Report 2019

The Annual Report 2019 provides an overview of ISGAN’s ongoing research activities and main achievements towards Smart Grid development and deployment to ensure a reliable, economically competitive and environmentally sustainable electricity system as the cornerstone of a modern society.

ISGAN proudly looks back at numerous highlights and achievements in 2019. The activities of ISGAN are organized in Annexes. In contrast to other IEA TCPs, these Annexes are standing working groups that continuously work on Smart Grids-related topics and regularly update their plans and objectives for the upcoming year at the spring meetings of the Executive Committee.

Of particular importance were events and workshops which attracted a very high level of interest both within ISGAN and externally.

  • Activities during CEM 10
    • ISGAN and Mission Innovation (MI) Innovation Challenge 1 on Smart Grids (IC1) co-organized the first joint CEM/ISGAN/MI IC1 forum on Cooperation to Accelerate Smart Grid Market Uptake , a full-day  CEM10/MI-4 side event on 29 May 2019 at the Vancouver convention center. There, ministers from over 25 countries gathered to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future.
    • Award ceremony announcing the winning project of the 2019 ISGAN Award of Excellence.
  • Highly recognized public workshops back-to-back with ExCo meetings
    • Stockholm: Public Workshop in cooperation with the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Smart Grid Forum: “The future of electricity markets in a low carbon economy”, 2 April 2019.
    • Stockholm: Interdisciplinary workshop with IEA DHC TS3 and ISGAN
    • Montreux: Public Workshop “Needs, challenges and opportunities of TSO-DSO coordination”
    • Montreux: Open workshop “EERA Smart Grid/SIRFN workshop”
    • Annex 6: Open workshop “Micro vs MEGA grids – trends influencing the development of the power system
  • Thematic knowledge exchange events (KTP)
    • Experimental Sandboxes for Smart Grids, Stockholm, 2019, in cooperation with the Swedish Smart Grids Forum and ICER International Confederation of Energy Regulators. This event was cooperatively organized by ISGAN Annexes 2, 4, 7 and 8.
    • Focus on upscaling, Montreux, 2019. This project was the third in the series of KTP workshops concerning public funding. It was organized by Annex 2 and 4.
  • Development of a communication strategy and action plan
  • Public Support to Smart Grid RD&I
  • Development of a web-based tool using a combination of CBA and multi-criteria analysis

More details on ISGAN activities in the past year can be read in the full report available online and in print versions.


This report was prepared by the Secretariat of the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN). ISGAN is organized as the Implementing Agreement for a Co-operative Programme on Smart Grids and operates under the framework of Technology Collaboration Programmes created by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of any of ISGAN’s participants, any of their sponsoring governments or organizations, the IEA Secretariat, or any of its member countries. No warranty is ex-pressed or implied, no legal liability or responsibility assumed for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, and no representation made that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring.


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May 15, 2020

micro vs MEGA trends

micro vs MEGA: trends influencing the development of the power system

micro and MEGA represent two trends which largely influence the decisions and the evolutionary process of power grids.

The trends are both aimed at enabling very high penetration of renewable energy sources
in the electric power system, from two perspectives:

  • micro focuses on local solutions, while
  • MEGA focuses on system or even intra-system wide solutions

ISGAN Annex 6 has dedicated an activity to study the micro and the MEGA trends, with the objective to present a critical assessment of these trends, based on the questions:

  • Does one trend outcompete the other?
  • Does increased investments from one perspective increase the need for investments
    from the other perspective?
  • To what extent can one perspective benefit from the other perspective?

The intention is not to proclaim one solution being superior to another, rather to provide well
informed insights to the needs of considering both perspectives during the planning
and decision-making process for the sustainable development of the wider energy

The outcome of this activity are communicated through publications, presentations and workshops, with contributions from a large number of parties:



  • Workshop and meeting in Montreux
    A highly successful event, gathering a total of 30 participants, with presentations (available here) from Italy, India, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden.
    The participants at these two meeting days have shown a high level of engagement and it has been highly valuable to learn from each other. In short, we can conclude that these meetings were very productive and successful in gathering a large amount of knowledge.

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