DSOs (Distribution System Operators) in Europe have been able to operate in about the same way for more than a century.

– Now this is not possible anymore, says Ulrika Wahlström, leader of the work package Outreach and Business Innovation in UNITED-GRID.

– The DSOs are very traditional and are not organized to ease the implementation of innovative solutions. It is obvious that digitalization makes it possible to go from a grid with relatively low IQ to a very intelligent grid. Now I’m bantering, but we are standing on the edge of a rather radical change in work methods, business models and attitude towards the customers, says Ulrika Wahlström.

Barriers to overcome for DSOs

UNITED-GRID develops a toolbox of smart solutions that is to be plugged-in, almost as a piece of lego, in the already existing infrastructure of the DSOs. This is a cost-effective way of investing in the solutions of the future in order to be able to handle renewable energy, prosumers, cyber security and much more.
– We are now looking into the barriers a DSO need to overcome in order to adopt the innovations that make their future existence possible, says Ulrika Wahlström.

Five tips for how you as a DSO can work in order to better handle innovations

  • Have a clear strategy on how innovations are to be implemented in your organisation
  • Provide an environment that helps the growth of an innovation culture throughout the organisation
  • Enhance possibilities for knowledge transfer
  • Do your market research and adjust the plan according to new technologies, rules and regulations
  • Create an innovation eco-system and surround yourself with actors that complement your own abilities

When it’s hard to get the attention of an audience it is often good to add something unexpected. Ulrika Wahlström is project innovation manager at IMCG and works with several EU projects. Here you can see how Ulrika added some good old music, ”Prisoners in paradise”, from the rock band Europe and connected it to the world DSOs are facing today.

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This project has received funding from the European Community's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme under grant agreement 773717

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