By Pedro H. Perico E Santos, Olivier Massol.
In Europe, a significant adaptation of the existing power distribution sector is necessary to support the transition toward low-carbon energy systems and facilitate the massive deployment of low-carbon distributed power technologies. This report first examines the current organization of that industry and highlights the country-specific and diverse nature of the industry structures and the institutional organizations governing the distribution sector. We then discuss the new tasks and roles assigned to Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and shed light on the emerging challenges facing these DSOs. Finally, we highlight and discuss a few emerging research topics on the sector’s industrial and institutional arrangements that have important implications for assisting the rapid decarbonization and digitization of European power systems.