What it is like to be a member of DSO Entity: Personal take-aways from our Board members

What it is like to be a member of DSO Entity: Personal take-aways from our Board members

On 11 May 2023, DSO Entity presented its Annual Plan to its members as part of its Knowledge Sharing workstream. The internal webinar was an occasion to exchange views on DSO Entity’s strategic priorities and reflect on its first year of operation while discussing how to achieve a just energy transition.

To fill the more theoretical part on the work program with practice, a lively exchange was held between our Board members who represented DSO Entity’s diversity in geography, size, and gender. Remy Garaude Verdier (Enedis), Jana Palkova (Vychodoslovenska distribucna, a.s.), and Kristian Finell (Herrfors Nät-Verkko Oy Ab), who shared their personal experiences since the establishment of DSO Entity and reflected on the added value of our diverse membership, true to the EU motto “United in diversity”.

Find out below some key highlights from our Board members’ interventions!

“DSO Entity is a great achievement coming from the Clean Energy Package.

Remy Garaude Verdier, representing Enedis - largest DSO in Europe - stressed what a milestone the establishment of DSO Entity was: “DSO Entity is a great achievement deriving from the Clean Energy Package as a signal to work actively on an equal footing with TSOs towards a fair energy transition and to be part of the drafting of the network codes”.

As a member of the task force which worked to develop and sign the Statutes, Remy’s journey with DSO Entity started long before June 2021. Remy emphasized that the creation of the association was only made possible thanks to the strong cooperation of the existing four DSOs associations (GEODE, CEDEC, Eurelectric and E.DSO).

“In this first year of operation, we learnt that, especially for small DSOs, our work can be very impactful.”

Coming from a Finnish DSO connecting a bit more than 30,000 customers, Kristian Finell reflected on the benefits of being a member of DSO Entity for small DSOs: “Smaller companies lack financial resources, and thanks to the work of DSO Entity’s Board members and experts, some small actors can have an active role”.

Kristian underlined the importance of DSO Entity as a key actor on the European stage and the responsibility and mission of the Board in making this work. While it is a learning curve, it is also what makes it an interesting journey.

‘’Being part of DSO Entity is a no regret option”.

Jana Palkova who represents a medium-sized DSO in Slovakia and is one of the only two women in the Board, shared her experience within DSO Entity.Being a Board member, gives you the chance to get involved in European affairs, which could have a strong impact on DSOs” and “personally is a very good opportunity to get close to EU processes and meet interesting colleagues from different DSOs from all over Europe”.

Reflecting on the progress still to be done regarding gender diversity, Jana – who leads our social media campaign on the European Year of Skills - highlighted that the energy industry is typically a sector where men dominate the workforce […]. However, she sees the opening of new opportunities for women, especially in the context of the increasing digitalization of the sector.”.


Picking one DSO Entity’s milestone for 2023

For Remy the reform of the Electricity Market Design is a real opportunity for DSO Entity to help shape the energy system towards a smart, and efficient market design.

Kristian and Jana underlined the importance of the launch of the new workstream on knowledge sharing that will increase opportunities for members to learn about technical topics and understand key issues addressed at EU level. To be seen also as a chance to increase the visibility of DSOs and members’ engagement to facilitate the energy transition.

With future challenges ahead, the importance of DSOs needs to be highlighted. Being all connected, European distribution grids need to act together to ensure that the electricity system remains secure and reliable for the benefit of the consumer (also through intense cooperation with TSOs). No DSO, no matter how big or small, can achieve the energy transition alone.

As our President Vincenzo Ranieri stressed: “DSOs are part of the same system and facing the same challenges, being present and represented at the EU level, through DSO Entity, will guarantee DSOs more transparency and solidarity”.