Standards in support of the Green Deal : Clean, affordable, resilient and secure energy | Agoria

Standards in support of the Green Deal : Clean, affordable, resilient and secure energy

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Published on 14/04/21 by Dirk De Moor
Through the Green Deal, the European Commission has set a series of ambitious goals to transition towards a fully green economy and reach the global climate target of net zero by 2050. To reach these objectives, all actors involved will have to rethink the way to produce and consume, the way our infrastructures work, the use of resources and the functioning of transportation systems. In this contribution, the focus is on clean, affordable, resilient and secure energy.

Companies in Europe want to contribute to the green transformation while improving their business. Standards on management of energy use or management of carbon emissions can be used as a tool for companies to gradually improve their performance. Several international standards about energy management and about reducing emissions already exist and are used.

Standardization in the field of wind energy generation systems including wind turbines, wind power plants onshore and offshore and interaction with the electrical system(s) to which energy is supplied. These standards address site suitability and resource assessment, design requirements, engineering integrity, modelling requirements, measurement techniques, test procedures, operation and maintenance. Their purpose is to provide a basis for design, quality assurance and technical aspects for certification (IEC/CENELEC TC 88 ‘Wind turbines’).

Standards for liquid and gaseous fuels have been produced for methods of sampling, analysis, field quality monitoring and specifications for fuels, that origin from mineral oil, synthetic processes and biomass. Purposes are both transport and stationary applications. The standardization work focus for instance on preventing issues in the market with regards to biofuels and synthetic fuels (CEN/TC 19 'Gaseous and liquid fuels, lubricants and related products of petroleum, synthetic and biological origin' and CEN/TC 408 'Natural gas and biomethane for use in transport and biomethane for injection in the natural gas grid').

It is important that The European standards on “Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications” support the objectives of the Renewable Energy Directive II and promote biofuels that can be proven to be sustainable or with so-called “low-ILUC” risks (“low indirect land use change” risks), as well as assist in the implementation of harmonized sustainability criteria applying to forest biomass (CEN/TC 383 'Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications').”

Regarding hydrogen standardization: there is a need for a clear CO2 emission criteria throughout the production process, backed by a robust system of guarantees of origins for hydrogen. International and European standards (CEN/CENELEC Sector Forum Energy Management Working Group 'Hydrogen', CEN/CENELEC JTC6 'Hydrogen in energy systems', CEN/TC 234 Gas infrastructure and other related TCs) can support the increased uptake of hydrogen in the energy systems and as feedstock that is sustainably produced (with and without fossil energy sources or blending with natural gas or creating additional base load), focusing the production and use of fully sustainable produced hydrogen as soon as possible. The existing standard on “Guarantees of Origin for Electricity” (EN 16235) is being revised with the extended scope to include hydrogen and with recommendation to also include biomethane, and other gases, heating and cooling in this standard (CEN/CENELEC JTC 14 ‘Energy management and energy efficiency in the framework of energy transition’).

To be able to reach ambitious climate targets by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050, all carbon-neutral energy sources should be supported, fully integrated and interconnected. Transforming energy production also calls for the need to manage decentralized power and thermal grids.

System aspects of electrical and thermal energy supply and demand are addressed at a European level as well as the international level (CENELEC TC 8X 'System aspects of electrical energy supply').

There are standardization developments related to Smart Energy Grid and Smart Meter, including home and buildings. It is necessary to improve the system and component interoperability within the smart home. The “Customer Energy Manager” standard (under development) supports demand-side flexibility in smart buildings.

To further decarbonize the energy system, energy efficiency at all levels must be prioritized (CEN/CENELEC JTC 14 'Energy management and energy efficiency in the framework of energy transition'), as well as the development of tools in support of related sustainable finance.

The efficient management of the energy systems with a large share of renewables is another priority to ensure high quality and performance of the energy grids (CEN/CLC Sector Forum Energy Management). This includes energy storage and conversion to other energy carriers (i.e. hydrogen) as enablers. Standardization can support the management of these challenges. It could provide tools to improve sustainability to policy makers, efficient and sustainable financing schemes to investors and concerned organizations, as well as efficient and affordable energy to all citizens.

Hand in hand with decarbonization is the long-term resilience of the sector. Again, the ISO 14090 series of adaptation standards may be used to assess and improve the long-term resilience of the power sector – whether in the generation, transmission, distribution or across its supply chains.

Moreover standards promote the:

  • digitalization along the value chain of the energy systems enabling the implementation of new services for consumers while reducing the operational costs of grid management via tools such as digital twin, which allows manufacturers to predict different outcomes and avoid potential failure based on data thus saving time and reducing costs;
  • innovation through the holistic view of integrating the energy system of new decarbonizing technologies, new fuel sources (hydrogen, biofuels) with energy efficiency, renewables and finance ability.

This article is based on the CEN-CENELEC position paper “Standards in support of the European Green Deal Commitments”.More info on the CEN/CENELEC website.

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