The electricity distribution sector needs to address its own environmental footprint too - NORSUS at CIRED 2023


From June 12th to June 15th, 2023, the 27th CIRED conference took place, this time in Rome. CIRED is the leading conference and exhibition on electricity distribution. It brings together distribution system operators (DSOs), suppliers, researchers, and other stakeholders to present and discuss important topics in the industry.

This year, there was a particular focus on the role of DSOs and the industry in the transition to a more sustainable energy system, which requires a shift to renewable energy, large-scale expansion of the power grid, and a transformation in how DSOs operate. NORSUS participated in the conference with two conference papers.

Irmeline de Sadeleer participated in a roundtable conference with her contribution titled "Environmental impacts from power distribution," where she presented results from various life cycle assessment (LCA) analyses of grid components and the power grid. She particularly emphasized that the industry should focus on reducing network losses and procuring low-carbon materials with a long lifespan. This generated significant interest among the participants.

Regina Skattenborg presented the paper titled "What Should DSOs Focus On For Reducing The Impacts On Climate Change When Developing And Operating Electricity Networks? A Case Study Of The Power Distribution Network In A Rural Area In Central Norway." The paper was developed as part of the ongoing Innovation Project “BmB” (Power Distribution with Sustainability). These contributions stood out at the conference as they were the only ones addressing the environmental consequences of power grid development and operation in a comprehensive manner by conducting an LCA of an entire electricity network. We recognize the importance of this in order to make knowledge-based decisions to reduce the environmental impact of the grid.