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GO15 looks at the evolution of the electricity grid and opportunities for the future
15 May 2018: Today, 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, Mr Thava Govender, was 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. 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,” added Govender.
 
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, cybersecurity, and grid reliability services for system operators worldwide. Group 2 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, Group 3 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.
 
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.
 
In an increasingly complex world, grid operators must deal with uncertainty and volatility and need new tools and a new market model to accomplish their mission. Moreover, reliability impacts of a changing power generation mix require that special emphasis be placed on further development and adoption of the regulatory framework in order for power grid operations to define technical specifications and to ensure grid sustainability and resource efficiency.
 
GO15, founded in 2004, is comprised of 19 of the largest grid operators around the world. These include grid operators from six continents and countries such as Asia, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Africa, the UK, the USA, the Middle East, and Australia, as well as from the European Union.
 
The 19 GO15 power grid operators deliver electricity to over half the world’s population, accounting for more than two-thirds of global electricity consumption, and represent the backbone connecting electricity producers and consumers.
 
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