During the first International Conference on the Integration of Renewable Energy Sources and Distributed Energy Resources held in December 2004, industrial stakeholders and the research community suggested the creation of an European Technology Platform for the Electricity Networks of the Future (ETP SG).
The European Commission Directorate General for Research developed the initial concept and guiding principles of the ETP SG with the support of an existing FP5+6 research cluster, which represented over 100 stakeholders in the electricity networks sector.
The ETP SG began its work in 2005. Its aim was to formulate and promote a vision for the development of European electricity networks looking towards 2020 and beyond.
In April 2006 the ETP SG presented its Vision and Strategy for Europe´s Electricity Networks of the Future document for SmartGrids. The Vision, for both transmission and distribution networks, is driven by the combined effects of market liberalisation, the change in generation technologies to meet environmental targets and the future use of electricity.
The ETP SG published The Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) in 2007, describing the main areas to be investigated, technical and non-technical, in the short-medium term in Europe. Since then, these documents have inspired several Research and Development programs within the EU and National institutions.
At the end of 2008 the first draft Strategic Deployment Document was released, and in 2010 it was formally finalized. This document describes the priorities and timelines for the deployment of innovation in the electricity networks and the benefits that such innovation will deliver for all stakeholders.
In 2012, the SRA was updated with the horizon 2035. The new SRA 2035 will serve as key input to the current EU Framework Programme, its successor Horizon 2020 and other SmartGrids research, development and demonstration initiatives, both on national and European levels with the goal to advance the SmartGrids based European Energy System.
In 2015 it was presented during the 5th General Assembly the view of the ETP Smartgrids on Research, Development and Demonstration needs in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017.
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