The role of the distribution grid is changing. An increasing portion of renewable energy, notably solar photovoltaics and wind energy, is connected directly to the distribution grid. New demand applications, such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and batteries are entering the market. The combined effect leads to increasing complexity in grid operation and planning. Grid congestion may arise at the low and medium voltage level if new demand applications are activated all at once (e.g., mass charging of many electric vehicles) or if too much renewable power is fed into the grid within one region. This project aims at analyzing how changes in the regulatory framework can address these new technical challenges in distribution grids.
There are several questions:
- Which changes are necessary to the regulatory framework so as to provide incentives for an economically efficient grid integration of new renewable power generation and new demand applications (incentives for grid operation and grid planning)?
- How can grid expansion and grid operation be intertwined in the regulatory framework so that there will be grid expansion as much as needed, but also flexibility as much as needed (e.g., smart charging of electric vehicles)?
- What is the role of digitization and information and communication technologies (ICT)?
- How can regulation account for the heterogeneity of distribution grids (e.g., regional differences in grid topology/distribution of generation and load)?
- What are regulatory recommendations to address the above mentioned issues?