CIRED Working Group Report on Resilience of Distribution Grids May 2018

The dependence and interdependence between the different economic sectors of society is a current reality effective and concrete. This connection has emerged naturally, accompanying the evolution of technology, globalization and the way we currently interact with society and organizations.

From the Latin systema - system - is an ordered set of elements that are interconnected and that interact with each other. Transposing this concept to organizations, where each organization is a system, the question arises in the effectiveness of these links, that is, in what way is interaction and interconnection made. Small failures, deviations or disruptive events of major impact may jeopardize a system if the connections / interconnections to another system or systems are not sufficiently robust and reliable.

“The increasing complexity and interdependence between critical infrastructures and the increasing dependence on the electric energy infrastructure makes the resilience of the energy network a fundamental priority in safeguarding the economic and social growth of modern societies”1. And when we reflect on society, on the organizations, we understand that it is a system of interconnected systems that allows us to interact and function in society. The complexity of this aspect increases exponentially. We think that each company is a system endowed with several layers, people, physical infrastructures, technological infrastructures and suppliers.

The ability of Systems and System-of-Systems to be flexible and to adapt to failures, deviations and / or disruptions is widely considered to be defined as Resilience. The organization's ability to adapt, shape and recover from changes, that may arise from different actors, will make the difference between an organization that will prevail in its sector and an organization that does will suffer to maintain its services.

In this complex world of systems, the role of a Distribution System Operator (DSO) is fundamental for the society, both to organizations and to citizens, and the constant search for equipment, methodologies and techniques that allow to improve the continuity, quality of technical and commercial service provided is today a reality in most DSO.

The work of this WG, over the last two years, demonstrates this effort, commitment and dedication a constant search for innovative processes of improvement in terms of equipment / systems as well as in terms of work organization, allowing DSO to build a higher capability to adapt in the face of disruptive events that may arise.

The main objective of the WG is to present a report that enable to share good practices and promotes the work that different companies and countries are carrying out and have already implemented, through benchmarking and case studies related to the "Resilience of the Distribution Network". Sharing experiences and learning with good practices will serve as a reflection and guidance to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of companies, fostering the opportunity to develop other work that deepens the thematic.

Events and natural disasters such as those that have been experienced in recent times, which have also caused interruptions in the electricity grid, call for this deep dive in the thematic, ending not only in individual solution implementation by each DSO, but also collective ones as, among other, the need to define protocols of mutual assistance between DSO.

It is therefore also necessary that organizations such as CIRED continue to engage experts in distribution networks, allowing them to share their knowledge and experience and thus help organizations move towards resilience.


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