The Electric Power System has a very important role for the economic development and welfare and is at the heart of a sustainable way to use energy. It is the largest machine ever been engineered: in Italy 60 thousand kilometers of transmission power lines - one and half time the circumference of the Earth - allow to satisfy an electric energy consumption of 310 TWh in 2014, 35% from renewable sources.
The Italian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the electric energy consumption - as shown in the above chart - are strictly related. As well as GDP by itself struggles to represent the growth of an economy, the consumed energy by itself hardly represents a welfare increase. Both indicators, for OECD countries, require two additional contributions respectively called Sustainability and Quality in order to better estimate the growth of a Country. The 2016 and the coming years are looking for sustainable growth as much as electrical energy quality.
It's a key step to add quality after energy as well as adding sustainable before growth. Quality means low energy not supplied, production flexibility, efficiency, costs minimization and many other key factors. The Power System complexity, concerning a higher share of generation from renewable energy sources, geographical and environmental constraints as well as foreseeable development plan makes the energy quality task difficult to accomplish. A high level of foresight and a clear vision of the future are required: the coordination of different political beliefs, regulation, energy plans and the uncertainty of the future is what keeps the electrical asset from developing faster and better.
A good way to deal with the Electric Power Systems in order to drive their evolution is to do an accurate System Adequacy forecast, by predicting the most probable future scenarios (costs, prices, energy demand and power flows) and test the overall system adequacy. The definition of such scenarios on an European perimeter and adequacy forecast evaluation is done by ENTSO-E, the European Netowrk of Transmission System Operators (TSO). In this context, the great experience of CESI plays a relevant role as a support for Terna, the Italian TSO.
CESI was founded in 1956 as the Italian Electro Technical Research Center. Since its birth CESI has been dealing with large-scale problems, helping to make the grid develop faster in order to maximize the Italian citizens’ welfare. CESI has developed a Grid Reliability Adequacy and Risk Evaluator (GRARE) and a powerful software for market modeling (PROMEDGRID) to help the “decision making” process for the grid investments planning. These two softwares have been customized and optimized to solve large-scale problems, initially for the Italian power system only, nowadays they are contributing with their simulation capabilities, grown with the years, to cope with new challenges consisting in coordinated planning of the European System.
CESI boasts a vast experience in evaluating electric systems Generation & Transmission adequacy, in prioritizing the investments by a Cost Benefit Analysis and integrating market requirements with technical and environmental constraints.
CESI, together with Terna, is very active with GRARE and PROMEDGRID in the development of the Scenario Outlook and Adequacy Forecast (SO&AF) and in the development of the Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP). Terna is represented in all the Working Groups of ENTSO-E System Development Committee.
As regard the TYNDP, the European Commission recently approved the Guideline for Cost Benefit Analysis of Grid Development Projects elaborated by ENTSO-E. PROMEDGRID is among the few simulation market tools able to fulfill all the requirements set by the official guideline as it complies with the further requirements asked by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) aimed to address the Cross-Border Cost Allocation (CBCA) in the framework of the Project of Common Interest (PCI) procedures.
Concerning the SO&AF the actual target is to define a new standard procedure to use a probabilistic, more accurate, approach to estimate the expected adequacy of a system and to assess the impact of the grid reinforcement in terms of economic welfare. Improve awareness about forecast adequacy of the system and help investment and energy policy decisions is essential in order to create a reliable and secure European electricity market. GRARE is one of the few software tools able to assess European generation adequacy applying a comprehensive Monte Carlo approach following the guidelines of the ENTSO-E Target Methodology for Adequacy Assessment. As defined by ENTSO-E, the priority is now to “improve the existing adequacy methodology with a special emphasis on harmonized inputs, system flexibility and interconnection assessments”: CESI strongly believes in this approach as the right and better way to increase the European Welfare.