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Great interest in discussion on power grid of the future at EPFL

Around 250 interested participants from research, the energy sector and politics as well as representatives from the authorities attended the «Le réseau électrique de demain» conference in the SwissTech Convention Centre of the Ecole polytechnique fédérale deLausanne (EPFL) on 21 May. The event was organised by the Energy Centre of EPFL (CEN), SCCER-FURIES, the Renewables Grid Initiative and Swissgrid. Stimulating presentations and a lively platform discussion on the grid of the future were the focus of the event.

The conference was opened by Prof. Dr. Daniel Favrat, Director of Technologies at the Energy Centre of EPFL. In the first presentation Prof. Dr. Mario Paolone from EPFL specifically addressed the central challenges the power grid of the future will have to meet. In his speech he highlighted among other things the contribution that intelligent grids can make toward a sustainable energy future. Dr. José Rodriguez Alvarez (ETHZ) and Dr. MER Rachid Cherkaoui (EPFL) pointed out in their presentations among other things how the capacity utilisation of the overhead lines can be optimised based on their heating. Marc Emery and Dr. Arthur Janssen presented the methodology and procedure of Swissgrid’s new grid planning (Strategic Grid 2025) in detail to the visitors of the public conference. Pierre Bornard, CEO of the French grid company RTE provided insight into grid planning in France, and therefore extended the horizon of the event to include Europe.

During the platform discussion forming the second part of the event, the grid of the future was discussed from a political and regulatory perspective. Robert Cramer, a Green Party member of the Swiss Council of States, and Dr. Matthias Finger from ElCom, brought the role and responsibility of politics and regulatory authorities into the discussion. Interesting input and thought-provoking ideas were provided in the platform discussion by Antonella Battaglini, Executive Director of the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI). Pierre-Alain Graf and Yves Zumwald from Swissgrid together with Pierre Bornard from RTE committed themselves to ensuring a strong role in the future for transmission grid operators in Europe. Rounding off the conference, all participants had the opportunity of continuing and deepening the dialogue about the future of power in informal surroundings over an aperitif.

The participants largely rated the event extremely positively. Impressions of the event can be found in the photo gallery. The video recordings of the event are available with immediate effect via Swissgrid’s YouTube channel.

We look forward to continuing the discussion with you on the power grid of the future at ETHZ on 18 June. Register now. Participation is free of charge.




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