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Distribution System Operators (DSOs) play an important role in the electric sector and renewable energy market particularly of CEE and SEE countries. Besides developing and managing the distribution network, which takes electricity the last mile to individual homes and businesses, DSOs are, in most countries in charge of other responsibilities such as grid connection of renewable energy power plants metering, settlement, public lighting, supply of last resort and some other public service obligations.
Effective competition in electricity markets is expected to take place and, for that, DSOs’ contribution is of the utmost importance. Distribution networks along with transmission networks are the physical link between generators and consumers and an open and non-discriminative access to the networks is an important pre‐requisite for a well-functioning electricity market, which can manage better increasing share of renewable energy production. Providing information to the market participants and participating in the process of customers changing supplier are other important ways in which DSOs contribute to the achievement of effective competition in electricity markets and providing renewable energy power producers with better service.
The challenges of climate change the whole world is facing and the continued increase in energy demand will highly affect and impact on DSOs. Distribution networks must be able to integrate in a planned manner all renewable energy generation technologies, including decentralized generation, to manage electric vehicles in a significant quantity, to encourage demand side to play a role, providing consumers with greater information and choice of supply and to deliver enhanced levels of reliability and security of supply. Distribution grids will become smart, enabling this transition to a low carbon economy. This change may also have an impact on the business model of distribution of electricity, with some potential changes in the DSOs’ role and activities.
To answer the challenges of transition to smart grids and new concepts of development of DSOs European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids association was established. EDSO for Smart Grids is now representing European Distribution System Operators which serve more than 124 million customers in Europe. EDSO for Smart Grids was founded to structure, lead and enhance, not for profit cooperation between European distribution system operators for electricity as well as to assure, manage, represent and promote their common interests, specifically on Smart Grids development and implementation.
More information about the important role of DSOs and smart grids for further growth of renewable energy market of CEE and SEE countries, you may read here.