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About the CIRED 2024 Vienna Workshop

The energy transition is shifting the world away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. This transition has a major impact on the entire energy sector, from generation, via transmission and distribution to markets and end-use.

In the electricity sector, the transition is leading to a massive influx of intermittent renewable generation.

By 2050, it is expected that electricity generation and consumption in Europe will at least double.

This will put an unprecedented strain on the transmission and distribution system’s capacity to handle the increased and more dynamic flow of electricity.

The distribution system operators (DSOs) and the electricity distribution networks play a key role in enabling a successful energy transition – facing higher volatility in energy supply and new challenges with regards to grid stability, more active and flexible electricity consumption, generation feed-in management, and increased sector coupling of several energy carriers via storage and conversion technologies.

This calls for new methodologies and technologies for network planning, operation, control, and regulation, to maximise the capability of the distribution system to connect additional distributed energy resources and loads (generation, dynamic loads, storage, etc..) to the network, without violating given technical restrictions (voltage loading, etc) – i.e. maximising the hosting capacity of the distribution network.

There is no quick fix for the challenges ahead, and the solution will include enhanced automatisation and utilisation of existing distribution networks infrastructure, targeted grid expansion schemes, changes in network planning and operation, together with significant modifications in regulatory frameworks.