5th General Assembly of the European Technology Platform on SmartGrids

The European Technology Platform on SmartGrids (ETP SG) "Smart grids for competitive Europe" celebrated on the 29th of April 2015 its 5th General Assembly (GA) in Brussels. The event was attended by over 200 participants.

The ETP SG (European Technology Platform on SmartGrids) was established in 2006, as a member of the European Technology Platforms (ETPs). European Technology Platforms play an integral role in mobilizing Europe’s research, technological development, and innovation efforts. The ETPs aim is to provide an industry-led framework for stakeholders, to define research and development priorities, timeframes, and action plans to achieve Europe’s future growth, competitiveness and sustainability by investing upon major research and technological advances on the medium and long term. From this point of view ETPs are expected to bring together the key stakeholders, i.e. industry, national and European public authorities, the academic community, the financial community, consumers and users around a common vision for the effective and competitive development of the technology.

ETP SG currently aims to support the EU in the ambitious Energy and Climate targets for 2020 and beyond, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to increase the share of renewable energies and to improve energy efficiency. It supports the actions to achieve these objectives for advancing Europe along the path to an energy system that will deliver a competitive and secure energy supply which will be sustainable.

The 5th General Assembly of ETP SG was the occasion to present the work done so far, the structure of the ETP SG, the research priorities and the Smart Grid projects in Europe. An essential part of the day was dedicated to the interaction between the ETP SG, the National Technology Platforms on Smart Grids, the Global Smart Grid Federation and other European initiatives in the area of renewable generation and smart demand. The ETP SG provides the link with existing National Technology Platforms while promoting the establishment of new National and Regional TPs for SGs, in order to ensure that European and National Research and Innovation programmes in the SG field are aligned and that enhanced cooperation among national platforms is achieved. The work of two representative National Technology Platforms, Smart Grids Flanders of the Belgium Flemish region and FutuRed from Spain, were presented.

A major part of the GA was dedicated to the presentation of the research priorities of the ETP SG, as they resulted out of the work of the 4 working groups (WG):
- Network operations and Asset management 
- Integration of Storage into the Grid
- Smart metering, Demand and Retail
- Security and Resilience of Future Grids

These research priorities also debate the ETP SG views for the on-going H2020 programme. The ETP SG WGs highlighted the challenges and objectives of the future grid, the funding needs, as well as the regulatory barriers for the implementation of technologies to serve as major input for the future H2020 Work Programmes.

A novel feature of the 5th GA of the ETP SG was the 1st European Innovative SmartGrid Solutions Competition. 14 different Smart Grid related projects participated by providing a short 3 minute presentation, mostly as a short video. The "Meltemi Community Pilot Site" supported by the National Technical University of Athens was selected by the participants as the most innovative project. It consists of a pilot implementation of an intelligent demand response system with increased RES penetration in 170 summer holiday cottages. The INCREASE project, although not participating in this competition, has been referenced as one of the recognized Smart Grid related projects.