IEA ISGAN Annex 6: Electricity Transmission and Distribution Systems (working period 2021-2022)

ISGAN Annex 6 deals with the possible system-related challenges in the development of future smart grids. Austria is leading Task 4 Interaction of Transmission and Distribution Networks. The main topic in the work program relates to flexibility topologies within transmission and distribution grids. The results and analyses had been published on the one hand in a discussion paper and in condensed form in a video. Communication and dissemination activities were targeted and conducted to different stakeholder groups.

Short Description

The electricity system is experiencing a paradigm shift in the way electricity is generated, transmitted and distributed due to numerous influencing factors. Influencing factors are not only technical developments in the field of digitalisation and renewable energies, but also political, climatic and societal (climate crisis, green recovery plans after the Corona pandemic, economic crisis).

In Austria, the goal was set to provide 100% electricity (on balance) from renewable resources by 2030. This is accompanied by the need to integrate more renewable energy sources into the grid. A tripling of installed wind capacity and a tenfold increase in photovoltaics are assumed. The additional capacities will be integrated into both the distribution grid and the transmission grid.

The use of flexibility in the electricity system is playing an increasingly important role in addressing the growing challenges faced by grid operators as they seek to facilitate the integration of new technologies.

To realise the full potential of flexibility, greater cooperation among stakeholders in the electricity system is needed. This results in new opportunities, challenges, roles and possible services. In this project, these aspects and their international differences in the provision and use of flexibility in the transmission and distribution grid were investigated, and the advantages and disadvantages were analysed in terms of technical, IT, economic and regulatory aspects.

It is expected that managing the complex interactions between volatile generation and flexible consumers across all voltage levels will become an essential part of an evolving active energy system. This results in an increased need for interaction between transmission system operators and distribution system operators.

The results and analyzes from surveys and a workshop were published in a discussion paper with detailed explanations and analyzes for experts and in a condensed form in a video. The video works through the results in a playful way and also makes the most important information accessible to interested laypersons. For the implementation of the energy transition, it is of central importance to make the new technologies easily and comprehensibly accessible to end customers.

Project Images

Terms of use: The pictures listed underneath the header “Project Pictures” originate from the projects in the frame of the programmes City of Tomorrow, Building of Tomorrow and the IEA Research Cooperation. They may be used credited for non-commercial purposes under the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC).


Publications are available on the IEA ISGAN-Website.


Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden (Operating Agent), Switzerland, UK, USA

Contact Address

DI Dr. Susanne Windischberger
Research Engineer
Center for Energy
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Giefinggasse 2, 1210 Vienna
Tel.: +43 50550-6290
Mobil: +43 664 88964968