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Electricity distribution networks and the energy transition: opportunities and challenges (part 1)

Electricity distribution networks will increasingly come under the spotlight as the energy transition gathers pace. 

Distribution networks are entering a brave new age. They have done their job excellently in Europe in the previous decades – distributing electricity from the transmission system to households and businesses in an increasingly efficient, cost-effective, reliable manner. 

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Is transactive energy really such a great idea?

Transactive energy is, according to the Gridwise Architecture Council:

“A system of economic and control mechanisms that allows the dynamic balance of supply and demand across the entire electrical infrastructure using value as a key operational parameter”

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How can network operators support the vulnerable customer of the future?

A couple looking worried about their electricity bills

The energy transition will change the way customers use and interact with energy – opportunities to play a more active and important role will arise with the emergence of new products and services. As the electrification of heat and transport gathers pace, customers will also be increasingly reliant on electricity to meet their energy needs. What does this mean for vulnerable customers and what role can DSOs play to support them, so no one is left out?

To answer this, we firstly need to understand who the vulnerable customer of the future might be. As the energy transition evolves, customer vulnerability will also change. New types of vulnerability may emerge relating to:

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