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JRC Smart Electricity Systems

Distribution System Operator Observatory 2020


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The decarbonisation of our economies and the consequent process towards a more sustainable society are at the core of the set environmental policies. Distribution System Operators (DSOs) as responsible of delivering electricity from High Voltage level to final customers are among the top players in the paved transition. As part of the Clean Energy for All Europeans legislative package, the DSOs have an important role in the European energy market as neutral market facilitators, but also as innovators driving the transition of the energy system towards a more sustainable future. At the same time big differences exist between DSOs operating in different Member States. This report helps shedding some light on them through an extensive data collection. It shows technical data on grid infrastructure, but also analyses the potential of the interviewed DSOs to innovate and to operate their grid more efficiently. Additionally some regulatory aspects and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic are discussed. Finally, some policy recommendations are given on the basis of the analysis carried out: a key point is to define a common methodology to gather data on distribution systems across Europe, both on technical and regulatory aspects.