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Distribution System Operators and Energy Communities

The energy transition brings economic and socio-cultural challenges, as we move from high-carbon generation assets to low-carbon distributed assets. An increase of distributed energy resources (DERs) - such as in the Nordics where installed capacity increased by ~46% between 2005 and 2017 - is changing the nature of interactions between buildings, districts, cities, and the overarching energy system. 

The impact and control level of distributed assets on the grid varies depending on their nature and connection type, from medium voltage assets such as CHPs and small wind turbines to low voltage assets such as heat pumps, solar PV and EVs. While the higher penetration of DERs may have a positive impact on the grid with increased reliability, energy loss reduction and reduction of voltage fluctuations, it can also create congestion problems - a challenge for distribution system operators (DSOs). 

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