Talk community interview: Enedis
- Can you give us a quick overview of the energy transition in France, and Enedis role in it as the main French DSO ?
The French Climate Plan has set up a roadmap for energy transition towards a neutral-carbon economy by 2050. This roadmap focuses on several priorities, including accelerate the development of renewables in the energy mix, allow every citizen to consume energy in a responsable and supportive way by promoting the development of circular economy through self-consumption, as well as make clean and decarbonated mobility accessible to all.
Today on the supply-side about 50 GW capacity of renewables are connected to the grids – including more than 25 GW of DER (Distributed Energy Resources) connected to distribution grids - mostly 400,000 wind and photovoltaic production units. On the demand side, nearly 15 million customers are equipped with our smart metering system LinkyTM – out of a total of 35 million by 2021. Over the last 12 months 22% of electricity consumption were covered by renewable resources and self-consumption and EV mobility are developing in an accelerated way. A lot has been done, yet much remains to be done on this unprecedented energy transition path.
Our role as a DSO is that of a neutral market enabler. We facilitate the implementation of the projects of each of the stakeholders of energy transition and allow market participants to interact together in a smooth manner. Our responsibility is to prepare the future in innovating, investing and integrating industrial tools such as smart metering system and other smart grids solutions, data platforms - in a responsible way by optimizing grid costs for the whole community. As an industrial company, we must meet market expectations, when and where the actors need them, which requires anticipation.
- We understand that Enedis is engaged in a massive roll-out of a smart metering system as well as other smart grid solutions. How are digital technologies transforming the utilities industry?
Digital technologies are a fantastic lever for our industry. The implementation of smart grid solutions aided by digital technologies facilitates faster integration of DER production units from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Smart metering systems allow customers to better control their energy consumption and suppliers to design and market more personalised offers. Additionally, smart metering systems enable public authorities to develop smart public lightning management systems and public electric vehicle smart charging terminals. They also give DSOs better control over MV and LV grids, allowing them to pilot local systems.
Digital technologies presents several challenges not to be underestimated. A first challenge for our industry lies in data management and cybersecurity. Just for Enedis, while the number of our computer servers has already been multiplied by 25 the last 10 years, today 15 million smart meters already generate more than 1 billion of data points per day. We have already entered a new era where utilities must ensure resiliency of the energy system both for physical power flows and data flows. Cybersecurity must be guaranteed not only for data, but also for components of the industrial system such as control rooms.
Other challenges are of course economic and technological with additional investments in IT infrastructures to be built and run, not to mention those relating to industrial policy – what can be reasonably outsourced. Most important, digitalisation impacts nearly all business processes and operational activities. It requires a full transformation of the company and management, as well as integration and/or development of new skills like data science, end-to-end supervision of fleets of connected and smart objects, supervision of LV grids,… so many opportunities making our jobs attractive for young talents.
We can imagine the energy system of the future will be more diversified and complex, with even more participants and players both on the supply and demand sides. What is certain is that the energy system will be much more digitalised than today – and will have to be in order to manage increasing complexity.
- Enedis actively participates to EUW since 2014 ; this year for the first time besides your corporate Enedis booth (A.d46) you have also designed an Enedis area fully dedicated to e-mobility (B.h4). Why is that ?
E-mobility is perhaps one of the most transformative changes taking place in the energy sector.
Transportation sector is responsible today for a about a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Electric and rechargeable hybrids vehicules supported by a low-carbon power production mix can be a major contributor towards a neutral-carbon economy. Last year in France the decision to stop by 2040 the marketing of vehicles emitting greenhouse gases has been taken, and the goal set for 2022 is to reach 1 million electric and rechargeable hybrids vehicles and 100,000 charging points accessible on the public domain – 5 times more than today.
We are of course today already an actor committed in e-mobility development. We connect electric charging points which represents hundreds of MW of distributed power - and with much more to come, it is quite easy to understand the potential interest for the power system to optimize charging point locations as well as develop smart charging solutions. Also as a company engaged in sustainable development, we experiment ourselves e-mobility every day with our electric corporate fleet – the second largest in France.
We already take part to numerous projects to pave the way towards widespread e-mobility in the future, and in order to anticipate future developments we decided to fully integrate electric mobility into our corporate strategic industrial project.
- Can you tell us more about Enedis ambitions in supporting future e-mobility development ?
Our ambition is based on several convictions.
First, French and European EV fleet is going to grow dramatically – even if there are still uncertainties on the rate of development. It will depend on many factors such as battery autonomy, avaibility and ease of access to charging points, EV price parity vs their internal-combusion counterparts which is one of the point of lift-off for sales besides autonomy, …
Second, E-mobility is a collective challenge : no actor alone holds the key to success. E-mobility emerging value chain is being structured with a multitude of actors including new entrants, none of which has yet an end-to-end vision. Due to inter-operability and roaming issues, E-mobility is also by nature a cross-border issue. Enedis in France, and DSOs in Europe, have a key role to play to facilitate the e-mobility rise by cooperating with all stakeholders at French and European levels : local authorities, public or private collective transport actors, charging infrastructure companies, car and battery manufacturers….
E-mobility is a collective, societal and technological challenge and our ambition is to become a leading industrial partner for every e-mobility player to co-create solutions in ordre to make the widespread EV development possible.
We, at Enedis, are deeply convinced European DSOs have a key role to play in future EV developments. We have to anticipate and prepare ourselves for the day when the number of electric vehicles skyrockets, in industrializing the key points for the future like, for example, intelligent management and system optimization, interoperability, and cybersecurity.
Interested in hearing more from Philippe Monloubou ? He will take part of the panel discussion Being Part of the Solution to Climate Change, Managing A High Renewable System, during the session A Low Carbon Energy System (6th November) at 17.00hrs. This session will take place in the Summit, in Strauss 1 room.
Register for a Summit pass Register here