How can we work hand-in-hand with the telecommunications and energy sector in Europe to successfully further develop and operate smart grids? What possible scenarios in terms of a shared future are conceivable, what strategic barriers need to be overcome and how can the collaboration be launched successfully?
These questions are the focus of this second Energise workshop held by TÜV Rheinland on 3rd and 4th March 2016 in Berlin. The workshop for high-level stakeholders from the European telecommunications and energy sector is part of the Energise study which has been conducted by TÜV Rheinland since the beginning of 2015 on behalf of the European Commission. It focuses on whether the EU states should use the existing infrastructures of telecommunications companies or whether new networks should be set up when expanding smart grids.
As part of the second stakeholder dialogue within the Energise project, TÜV Rheinland will also present the current results from the first project year. The first comprehensive survey of shared use communications infrastructure for smart grids amongst participants from the telecommunications sector and from the energy sector within the EU is unique in this form: It includes basic information, estimations on use cases and models of cooperation for smart grids from all of the 28 EU Member States. This has given rise to the first extensive EU wide inventory.
TÜV Rheinland and its project partner WIK-Consult (Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste) questioned various interest groups, including telecommunications companies and device manufacturers, as well as energy network operators and research facilities. The aim was to determine specific concepts and possible solutions and to find out more about the different potential of digital networks in the individual countries.
"One of the most important findings was that both the energy market and the telecommunications sector undergo a significant dynamic change. Despite the very different general conditions in the two sectors, a sharp rise in convergences is expected. Shared use infrastructures are an important success factor for digital transformation in Europe," explained Prof. Dr. Kai Höhmann, Global Business Field Manager Telco Solutions, Business and Engineering Services, TÜV Rheinland. "For this reason, it is even more important that the EU states develop a practical approach for shared smart grid infrastructures which takes into account the various strategic interests both of the telecommunications sector and the energy sector, and of the individual countries and the consumers. With the stakeholder dialog, we are creating the necessary conditions for this," explained Prof. Dr. Höhmann.