LACROIX Group

Innovation Smart environment Strategy

Intelligent electricity networks or “Smart Grids” are essential to energy transition and the development of a more efficient and sustainable society. Intelligently integrating renewable energies and managing the decentralisation of production are challenges that Spain, like many other countries, must confront.

Planned legislation on renewable energies and energy efficiency

On 19 May 2020, the Spanish government submitted new legislation on climate change and energy transition to parliament. The main focuses of this legislation concern renewable energies and energy efficiency, setting goals for 2030 which can only be revised upwards: a reduction in CO2 output, a significant increase in renewable energies as a proportion of total energy and electricity consumption, greater energy efficiency, the creation of low emissions areas, etc.

The deployment of Smart Grids in Spain appears to be an essential lever in meeting these multiple challenges, as demonstrated by the success of the Smart Grids Congress, a key forum for this sector, held in Madrid in December 2019.

LACROIX Group team at the Smart Grids Congress, in december 2019

Lessons learned from LACROIX Group’s experience in Germany

As a partner of this event, we were able to take the opportunity to share the experience of our German subsidiary SAE IT-systems.

Julian-Stochmel_ok

“The rules of the game differ greatly depending on the country. In Germany, the Distribution System Operator (DSO) market is extremely fragmented: more than 800 players share this responsibility, a unique situation in Europe! By comparison, in France, ENEDIS is responsible for 96% of the market.

SAE IT-systems provides high-performance equipment for monitoring and managing electricity networks. We work with over 500 clients, from small municipalities to large energy suppliers and industrial groups. To meet all individual needs, we have developed a directory (or library) of hundreds of scenarios. Despite sharing a similar purpose, these scenarios are always implemented differently. Internationally, this expertise is greatly appreciated, as the SAE IT-systems library can offer a solution to suit any specific local Smart Grid interpretation.”

Julian Stochmel
International Sales Director, SAE IT-Systems

Benito_Perez_ok

“In Spain, there are around 300 DSOs, but the “big five” (Endesa, Iberdrola, Naturgy, Viesgo and EDP) control around 75% of the market. They are all closely involved in network modernisation processes and adaptation to the new Smart Grid context. Unlike in other European countries, the deployment of smart meters for all customers is almost complete. Currently the focus is on the introduction of new monitoring and control systems in substations. There are more than 300,000 substations in the country, 30 to 40% of which have already been modernised in recent years. This modernisation is paving the way for telemetry.

More generally, the experience of LACROIX Group through SAE IT-systems and its knowledge of the multiple types of customers and installations will be essential in meeting the challenges and needs of the Spanish electricity distribution market.”

Benito Ignacio Pérez Unanue
Business Development Manager, LACROIX Group (Spain)

How can Smart Grids be deployed in Spain?

Benito Pérez continues:“Spain is very interested in linking up to renewable energy production sites. Market stakeholders are now considering how this sector is to be regulated. We encountered and resolved this issue ten years ago in Germany, so we believe that by sharing our experience we can help and advise the market on the best approaches to take. In terms of opportunities, the monitoring and automation of High Voltage/Low Voltage substations offers strong potential in Spain. 

Improving corrective and predictive maintenance, as well as integrating new types of decentralised generation and consumption, are exciting areas in which we have our own role to play”.

Once all new renewable electricity generation facilities currently under development or planned are up and running, the electricity distribution system will be utterly changed. Decentralisation of production will be a significant challenge in terms of distribution, since in many cases the power lines deployed to provide electricity to a geographical area will also become responsible for producing the electricity generated in that area. To meet this challenge while ensuring quality and continuity of supply, DSOs must invest to equip the network with the intelligence needed to rapidly respond to these new requirements.

LACROIX Group: a source of real strength

LACROIX Group has a central role to play in meeting these challenges by supplying smart equipment designed for better management of critical infrastructures such as roads, water, heat and electricity networks.

In addition to the challenge represented by the deployment of Smart Grids in Spain, this is an opportunity for us to offer our clients the benefit of our know-how and the complementarity of our cultural identities:

  • The smart-grid expertise and experience of a German leader, with SAE IT-systems
  • Similar areas of expertise, with many synergies:
  • In-depth knowledge of the Spanish market acquired over many years by our local subsidiaries.

Spain is undertaking major commitments towards energy transition, as illustrated by its decision to close its coal-fired power plants. The Group is delighted to contribute to this endeavour by supporting market stakeholders in the deployment of Smart Grids.