IEC 2016

7th year - Challenges Related to the Decentralisation of the Energy Sector

The International Energy Club Conference was held on September 15 in the multifunctional hall GONG, Dolní Vítkovice area.


Conference programme priorities:

SESSION 1:  Energy policy and legislation
SESSION 2:  Decentralisation and energy generation
SESSION 3:  Energy grids and security of supply
SESSION 4:  Customer in the changing energy environment


The 7th conference entitled  "Challenges Related to the Decentralisation of the Energy Sector"

SESSION 1: Energy policy and legislation

The European energy sector is shifting from utilising large centrally installed conventional power plants towards using smaller decentralised and volatile sources. However, new nuclear reactors are considered to be continuously needed, at least the public discourse in the Czech Republic points to that.  At the same time, in 15 years, roughly half of the electricity demand in the EU should be met by renewables. Further to that, the Ministry of Environment is preparing a new “anti-fossil” law, which should enter into force in 2017 and should contribute to decreasing the Czech Republic´s dependency on imports of oil, natural gas and coal while providing for more investment predictability and stability.

Which specific instruments are planned for introduction both by the European Commission and the Czech government in order to ensure the reliability of the decentralised system? In which way will the stepping aside of Britain from the EU influence the European energy policy? Is it feasible to interconnect capacity remuneration mechanisms in respective European Member States and thus create one European capacity market? Is it no longer possible to restore the Energy Only Market?


SESSION 2: Decentralisation and energy generation

The ongoing transition of the European energy sector poses a great challenge for big undertakings in the field. Demand is being driven by a decrease in consumption, both energy and cost savings and an effort to generate electricity in a more sustainable way. New technologies and specific energy services are on the rise. The energy sector is heading towards decentralisation. However, energy prices do not reflect the increase in capital expenditures. Keeping in mind the need to ensure system stability and secure operation of the grid, we ought to pay our utmost attention to issues related to the energy transition present today.

In which ways are big energy and industry companies preparing for the upcoming decentralisation in energy generation (which should take place within the next 10-15 years)? Which preconditions should be fulfilled to allow for the successful transition in energy generation? Does the existing electricity market design deliver sufficient investment signals needed for investment in new generation sources and is it able to integrate decentralised electricity generation? 


SESSION 3: Energy grids and security of supply

The decentralisation of the energy sector has a profound impact on the operation of transmission and distribution systems. Central dispatching will not be able to balance the whole energy system in the future. Nevertheless, the main transmission lines will become more important due to the expected increase in cross-border trade and for ensuring security of energy supplies across Europe. Distribution system operators will become more important as the expansion of the decentralized generation increases demand for balancing generation and consumption at the distribution grid level. Together with the smart grids deployment we will have to address cyber security. Regulation will need to tackle the issue of additional costs related to smart grids, and the open question is still a new set-up of the tariff structure in a way which would stimulate energy savings.

Which specific projects increasing energy security and system reliability will be developed in the Central and Eastern European region? Which roles and responsibilities should be assigned to TSOs and DSOs in the future? Which major obstacles indicated pilot smart grids projects in the Czech Republic?


SESSION 4: Customers in the changing energy environment

Smart grids should in the future allow for easy and flexible adjustment of the real-time electricity consumption. Customers ought to have access to comprehensible data so that they can reconfigure their electrical appliances accordingly. Smart grids will transfer big data between customers and electricity suppliers. New legislation should specify which data will be disclosed to the distribution system operator and to electricity suppliers. Thus a new platform connecting all of the three sides will originate.

Are end consumers ready for new technologies and new energy services? Will the cyber security be adequately addressed? Will the data be secured against their seizure? Which specific products plan the suppliers to introduce?