Spanish operator launches grid innovation programme
December 5, 2017
Spanish grid operator Red Eléctrica de España has launched a collaborative innovation programme to promote long-term research through open calls for technological initiatives applied to the transmission grid that have a direct impact on the efficiency and sustainability of electricity systems.
The Grid2030 programme, developed in collaboration with InnoEnergy, will last four years and has been earmarked an initial budget of €2m. It seeks to promote or boost projects that respond to the major challenges that the development of the grid of the future will face.
“Grid2030 is an exciting development for us,” said Eduardo García, head of innovation at Red Eléctrica de España. “Over the past 30 years, we have worked to create one of the most modern and flexible grid systems in the world. But we need to do this not just for today, but years to come, and to do that we need new technologies and ideas. We are delighted to be working with InnoEnergy, which brings significant expertise in finding and supporting innovations, and turning them into successful products and services that will make a difference to the future of our transmission and distribution systems.
During the first phase, the programme plans to deploy power electronics technology or devices, and address the development of new resources that may help ensure the flexibility of an electricity system that is compatible with a zero CO2 emission energy model.
The main goal is to reduce costs and increase the efficiency and sustainability of the electricity system, as well as improve the performance of the transmission grid through the development of power electronics and promote advances in the control and integration of renewable generation through the use of new or improved components and storage infrastructures that increase the flexibility of the electricity system as a whole.
Both the structure of the programme and the technological challenges have been jointly defined with InnoEnergy, which contributes its experience in the management of innovation support programmes and in the transformation of the results of these projects into products and services.
“Partnering with Red Eléctrica de España in the creation of the Grid2030 programme opens up great opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators across Europe,” said Diego Pavia, CEO of InnoEnergy. “Working with one of the world’s biggest transmission and distribution operators allows us to demonstrate the potential of different solutions and their impact on the sustainability of grid systems of the future.”
The programme initially consists of two open calls for proposals targeted at entrepreneurs and innovators from public and private entities, universities, research centres, and European companies that are working on the development of technological products and services in their initial phase.
The first open call will be open until February 2018. During this period, the initiatives submitted will be registered and support will be given throughout the process, answering questions and doubts, and guiding and helping the participants to prepare the best proposals.
Subsequently, the most promising candidacies may team up with other organisations and present an integrated proposal to achieve a project with greater impact.
The execution phase will commence in June 2018 following a selection process that will have determined which projects have the greatest potential and will receive financial support from Red Eléctrica in addition to having InnoEnergy's technical assessment and support in the management.
With the programme, Red Eléctrica and InnoEnergy are teaming up on a multi-year collaboration that will explore socio-economic and technical innovations related to the electricity system operation and transmission of electricity and that will support the development and early commercialisation of applications based on the latest technology, thus accelerating its deployment and maturity through the participation of different companies and industries.