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On Tuesday, GO15 announced the study of three key areas to ensure future operational and economic sustainability for the transmission and system operator industry.

These are reliability and resiliency, addressing the integration of renewable generation and distributed resources, and exploring a new utility business model and market design.

GO15 President, Thava Govender, tabled the above while addressing energy experts at the transmission and distribution session of Africa Utility Week in Cape Town, South Africa.

“It is imperative that the energy industry worldwide explore how new ideas can be born through collaborative networks of research institutions that bring business, utilities and countries together,” Govender said.

He added: “In this way, we can define a research agenda to address our specific industry needs, to build infrastructure, local skills, and capability, and to develop appropriate intellectual property.”

Research and recommendations

The three workgroups, comprised of a volunteer network of experts from 19 of the world’s largest grid operator member companies, have converged in three key strategic working groups to research and present high-level recommendations by 2020.

The workgroup on reliability and resiliency is currently exploring the effects of, and solutions to, climate change, cyber-security, and grid reliability services for system operators worldwide.

Workgroup two is examining the integration of renewable generation and distributed energy resources and the advanced technologies and tools that are required for optimal operations and management.

Understanding the realities of the utility death spiral; workgroup three is studying opportunities for, and the evolution of, a new business model and market design for economic and operational sustainability.

“We look forward to discovering new thinking from these groups as they move forward with their research,” noted Govender.

Evolving power supply system

GO15 acknowledged the unprecedented evolution of the power supply system and the substantial investments required, not only in transmission infrastructure, but also in the increasingly sophisticated IT technologies required for their management.

“This evolution requires in-depth cooperation among the main actors of the electricity domain, including regulators, transmission and distribution system operators, and generation suppliers of critical technologies and equipment, while continuing to deliver at a reasonable cost reliable and green electricity to customers, in line with clean energy policies,” noted Govender.

African Utility Week