. . .
5.3.1 ›

SOCIAL PERFORMANCE

As part of REN's sustainability strategy with regard to in-company well-being, many indicators were collected throughout 2016 allowing the impact of measures to be gauged.

 

MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES

The focus in 2016 was on the integration and consolidation of the different initiatives and the implementation of programmes developed during 2015.

The goals to develop a single culture based on current and future business needs and to implement integrated, transparent and across-the-boards policies were also strengthened through improved communication of the different activities of human resources and greater involvement of the different stakeholders.

The consolidation of the integrated human resources model included:

    • Continuation of work to optimize and match the organizational model to the development of business and the challenges which arise in the industry, while increasing flexibility and rejuvenating the structure;
    • Consolidation of implementation of the policies set out by the New Collective Labour Agreement and new human resource regulations;
    • Implementation of a programme for the full development of human capital, the REN Campus. In this programme, training is selected and different development initiatives are carried out to reflect business needs and the individual development of every employee. This approach ensures the transfer of know-how and the updating and sustainability of specific knowledge on the organization;
    • Implementation of the new site for employees, MyREN, which has improved and centralized human resource management processes on a single platform, thus simplifying day-to-day work;
    • Continuation of development of programmes to motivate employees and for organizational sustainability as well as actions to bring the Company closer to the community through initiatives to promote balance, equality and inclusion which have achieved significant impact and recognition;
    • Evolution of the REN Flex benefits programme, with the introduction of new benefits, in line with feedback received from employees so that the programme reflects their real needs;
    • Continuation of the programmes to recognize talent and performance, in an ongoing manner and aligned with the best practices in human resources;
    • Reinforcement of the communication of human resource activities and the involvement of all stakeholders through initiatives such as the Senior Staff Meeting, Management Meeting and Strategy Workshops as well as other similar events.

The different programmes and initiatives have consolidated REN's external image with respect to human resources. In 2016, four new awards were received – The most Attractive Companies to Work For (entry into TOP 20, School of Economy and Management at the University of Minho and Spark Agency), “Best Place to Work” Award (silver, Best in Biz Awards 2016), “Most Attractive Employers” (1st place, Universum), “Healthy Workplaces Awards” (2nd place, Large Company Category, Psychologists' Association).

 

HUMAN RESOURCES PROFILE

At the end of 2016, there was a reduction of 1.9% YOY in the number of employees. The average age and length of service have remained stable in the last four years as a result of the consolidated policy by the REN Group to rejuvenate the workforce.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
  '16 '15 '14

Employees with permanent and term contracts

605 620 640

Interns

3 0 1
TOTAL
608
620
641
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 
  '16 '15 '14

Full time employees

593 609 627

Fixed term contracts (fixed, unspecified duration and commission)

12 11 13

Interns

3 0 1
TOTAL 608 620 641
'16
  TOTAL WOMEN MEN

Full time employees

593

141 452

Fixed term contracts (fixed, unspecified duration and commission)

12 5 7

Interns

3 1 2
TOTAL
608 147 461
   '16 '15   '14

Average age

44,3 44,3   44,3

Average length of service

 16,5  16,5 16,7
ROTATION RATE
  '16 '15 '14
Men

4,5%

5,3%

6,2%

Women

1,9%

1,3%

0,3%

TOTAL 6,5% 6,6% 6,5%
ROTATION RATE BY AGE GROUP
  '16 '15 '14

Up to 30 years old

8 4 2

From 30 to 50 years old

8 5 2

Over 50

24 33 39
TOTAL 40 42 43

In 2016, the Rotation Rate remained in similar levels of 2015 and the pre-retirement programme started in 2013 also continued. 

Despite the slight rise, this Rotation Rate continued to be less in age groups below 50 years old, demonstrating the effectiveness of the programmes for increasing REN's ability to retain talent.

EMPLOYEES LEAVING BY AGE GROUP
 
‘16
'15 '14
Up to 30 years old

8

4

2

From 30 to 50 years old

8

5

2

Over 50

24

33

39

TOTAL
40
42
43
ENTRIES
  '16 '15 '14
Men 19 12 6
Women 9 9 2
TOTAL 28 21 8
ENTRY RATE
  '16 '15 '14
Men

3,1%

1,9%

0,9%

Women

1,5%

1,4%

0,3%

TOTAL
4,5%
3,3%
1,2%
ENTRY RATE BY AGE GROUP
  '16 '15 '14

Up to 30 years old

2,6%

2,2%

0,8%

From 30 to 50 years old

1,9%

1,1% 0,5%

Over 50

0,0% 0,0%

0,0%

TOTAL
4,5%
3,3%
1,2%
DIVERSITY
  '16 '15 '14
Men

461

470

492

Women

147

150

149

TOTAL 608 620 641
DIVERSITY
(MANAGEMENT)
  '16 '15 '14
Men 17 18 22
Women 8 10 9
TOTAL  25 28 31
Ratio Men / Women

32,0%

35,7%

29,0%

In 2016, the weighting of female employees at REN remained similar with respect to 2015. It should be noted however, that over the last four years, this figure has tended to rise.

In fact, the commitment we took on in 2014 with REN's formal membership of IGEN – Corporate Forum for Sex Equality, continued in 2016 with the Company implementing a number of initiatives to develop a culture to recognize equality of sexes as one of REN's pillars of development and sustainability.

Our goal is to increase the number of women in management from its current weighting of 32%.

DISTRIBUTION OF EMPLOYEES BY PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY
FUNCTIONAL GROUP '16 '15 '14

Top Management

25 28 31

  Men

17 18 22

  Women

8 10 9

Management

45 46 48

  Men

35 36 39

  Women

10 10 9

Coordination

19 19 25

  Men

15 15 23

  Women

4 4 2

Senior Managers

323

317

297

  Homens

233

 232 217
  Women

90

85 80

Field / Administrative

196 210

240

  Men

161 169 191

  Women

35

41

49

TOTAL 608 620 641

The REN organizational structure is being gradually aligned with new needs and the challenges of business. A significant increase has been seen, especially in the last three years, in the weighting of upper management in the organization.

DISTRIBUTION BY AGE GROUP
(TOP MANAGEMENT)
  '16 '15 '14

Up to 30 years old

0 0 0

From 30 to 50 years old

15 16 16

Over 50

10 12 15
TOTAL 25 28 31
DISTRIBUTION BY AGE GROUP
(MANAGEMENT)
  '16 '15 '14

Up to 30 years old

0 0 0

From 30 to 50 years old

31 34 31

Over 50

14 12 17
TOTAL 45 46 48
DISTRIBUTION BY AGE GROUP
(REMAINING EMPLOYEES)
  '16 '15 '14

Up to 30 years old

51 59 65
From 30 to 50 years old 319 311 307
Over 50 168 176 190
TOTAL 538 546 562

The gradual trend towards the rejuvenation of the structure continued so as to prepare the organization for its future challenges. REN employees are aged mostly between 30 and 50.

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS
FUNCTIONAL GROUP '16 '15 '14

PhD

3 2 2
  Homens 2 2 2
  Mulheres 1 0 0

Master’s degree

101 94 81
  Homens 67 63 56
  Mulheres 34 31 25

Degree

270 277 290
  Homens 188 195 109
  Mulheres 82 82 81
Bachelor 14 14 17
  Homens 13 13 16
  Mulheres 1 1 1
Secondary 172 174 185
  Homens 151 149 157
  Mulheres 21 25 28
9th grade 32 39 45
  Homens 26 30 34
  Mulheres 6 9 11
6th grade 11 13 14
  Homens 9 11 11
  Mulheres 2 2 3
4th grade 5 7 7
  Homens 5 7 7
  Mulheres 0 0 0
TOTAL 608 620 641
  Degree holders 64% 62% 61%
  Non-Degree holders 36% 38% 39%

Preparation for future challenges has also included a sustained increase in the level of academic qualifications. In 2016, the weighting of employees holding degrees stood at 64%. 

HIRING
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES '16 '15 '14

Full time employees

593

609

627

Fixed term contracts (fixed, unspecified duration and commission)

12 11 13

Interns

3 0 1
TOTAL 608 620 641

REN's hiring policy, as well as the consistency and maturity of our business, continues to be reflected in the type of contracts offered. Most REN workers are full-time.

Furthermore, and as a follow-up to the policies implemented, the return to work rate after parental leave was 100%.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

REN TRAINEE PROGRAMME

The REN Trainee Programme is now consolidated. It consists of professional, academic and summer internships, where interns have the opportunity to work on specific projects, helping participants improve in different areas and enhance their skills.

With regard to professional internships in job rotation, an extra challenge is launched every year to the internship plan. In 2016, this challenge focused on one of the three axes of the Nós programme, that of Equality. To promote Sex Equality, and because of the continuing difficulties in recruiting woman to work in engineering, a plan was devised and implemented to help counteract the idea that still persists among young women that engineering is a field exclusively for men. The Slogan was: “Talent is not based on sex!”. 

As part of this challenge, four secondary schools were visited and programmes were conducted to raise awareness among science students of both sexes.
REN interns explained their jobs and why they chose to study engineering.

INDICATORS
  '16
Professional internships 11
Academic internships 20
Summer internships 11
TOTAL 42

VIVA PROGRAMME

In addition to providing an overview of the company, its values, mission and areas of business, the REN VIVA Programme (Welcoming and Integration) also allows newcomers to identify more quickly with REN and enables networking opportunities. In 2016, the welcome image and kit given to new workers were updated.

INDICATORS
  '16
Nº of sessions 2

Satisfaction rate (%)

99%

REN CAMPUS

The REN Campus officially started in 2016, but its origins go back some years.
In 2011, the company's training policy was established with the introduction of across-the-board training which in turn gave rise to a series of programmes designed to develop skills. The following year, e-learning was introduced, a vital tool enabling the many hundreds of REN employees all over the country to be reached.
In 2013, a suite of actions was started to develop potential. These actions include the General Management Programme, the Energy Academy and Mentoring and Coaching Programmes. REN Meetings are also held where a key guest speaker is invited and issues relating to strategy, management and leadership are addressed.

Against this background, REN decided to move forward with a new model combining all training aspects under a single umbrella. This plan had been under consideration for some time and it was thought that timing was now right for the REN Campus. This plan has an important background in training, but also seeks to meet future challenges. This new concept is further relevant due to the nature of our work which requires constant updating of knowledge and the capability to adapt to the challenges our industry faces. 

The REN Campus constitutes REN's training model for the full development of human capital. Its mission is to provide added and differentiating value to the management of knowledge by creating comprehensive and strategic training programmes which reflect the company's strategy and business. The overriding goal is to enable growth and consolidation of business through the development of people, with differentiated supply for the correct management of intellectual capital and the ongoing transfer of knowledge.

Comprehensive Training is broken down into different areas.
Examples include the schools of Management, Leadership, Communication and Technology. In the latter category, a portfolio of internal trainees has been established, which is vital for ensuring transfer of knowledge and retaining know-how. 

REN Campus highlights:

    • REN Meetings is an initiative which is in its third year and which now has a new, more encompassing format with greater diversity of partners. Key figures are invited to share their experience and choices in the topics under analysis at the meetings. 
    • Specific Training seeks to satisfy the needs of employees to enable them to perform current and future duties.

The strategy is holistic and seeks to provide solutions to the different needs of employees. Judging by the many awards won by REN in 2016, this programme has been successful.

TRAINING
  '16 '15 '14

Nº of Hours of training

27. 009

18.644

29.939

Nº of Participants

2.792

3.031

2.883

Nº of Hours of training per employee

43,8

29,3

45,4

Average Nº of Employees

617

637

659 

AREA OF TRAINING
(Nº OF HOURS)

 

'16 '15 '14

Behavioural

7.166

544

1.542

Technical

13.015

14.661

23.768

Quality, Environment and Safety

3.316

1.882

1.413

Management

3.513

1.558

3.217

TOTAL
27.009
18.644
29.939 
AREA OF TRAINING
(Nº OF PARTICIPANTS)
  '16  '15 '14

Behavioural

605

125

340

Technical

1.434

 2.086  1.762

Quality, Environment and Safety

420

562 242 

Management

333 258 539
TOTAL
2.883 3.031
2.792
FUNCTIONAL GROUP
(Nº OF HOURS)
  '16 '15 '14

Top Management

1.618

928

1.639

Management

3.163

1.135

3.106

Coordination

490

555

1.398

Senior Managers

16.091

10.436

16.493

Field / Administrative

5.647,0

5.590,0

7.303,1

TOTAL
27.009
18.644
29.939

STAR PROGRAMME – PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT 

2016 continued to see the implementation of the performance management model. With the goal of continuous improvement and receiving feedback from the main users, an assessment project was started on the impact of the changes introduced in 2014 and the need for possible adjustments in 2017. The aim is to ensure a culture of meritocracy, dialogue and feedback. 

INDICATORS
  STAR '15

Number of employees covered

617

% of assessments concluded

100%

Average – final assessments competences 

3,88

Average – final assessments goals

4,00

% of bonuses calculated as compared to the number of assessments

99,5%

SOCIAL DIALOGUE AND BENEFITS

2016 was a year of stabilization in the implementation of the new ACT and all internal regulations on human resources. With the objective of promoting dialogue between management and worker representation structures, meetings were held with the main unions and the workers' committee to debate matters of general interest and industry relevant topics. 

As a result of dialogue and the established agreement, a general salary increase of 1.3% was awarded to all employees covered by the ACT REN.

Union membership at REN is 41.0%.

  '16 '15 '14

Staff who are union members

41,0%

42,4%

45,1%

% Full-time ACT workers

98,5%

99,2%

52,0%

% Staff who are union members

249

263

289

ACT Employees

599

615

333 

The REN benefits policy, centred on supporting its employees in important areas of family and personal life, includes a series of additional supports and benefits with regard to health, education and culture, etc. 

In 2016, the REN Flex flexible benefits programme was reviewed. Introduced in 2015, this programme has proved to be popular among employees. 93% are satisfied or very satisfied with the REN Flex Plan and 98% think it helped create a benefits package which better meets their needs.

Despite this and with a view to continuing to provide access to a range of benefits and advantages suited to all stages of an employee's life with unique conditions, the programme's benefit areas (Retirement, Health and & Day-to-Day Risks) were complemented by two additional benefits – possibilities to fund training and benefit from additional payments to a pensions plan.

BENEFITS EMPLOYEES WITH TRANSITIONAL SCHEME FROM PREVIOUS ACT(1) EMPLOYEES WITH FLEX PLAN(2) EMPLOYEES WITH INDIVIDUAL WORK CONTRACT(3)

Life insurance

  X X

Personal accident insurance

X X X

Health plan

X X X

Pensions plan

X X  

Electricity at reduced prices

X    

Study subsidy

X    

Education and child care vouchers

  X  

Social pass

  X  

Training

  X   

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

Aware that a safe and healthy environment is a decisive factor for the satisfaction of stakeholders, REN is committed to the effective management of occupational health and safety.

The occupational health and safety management system is certified by an accredited entity and encompasses most Group companies. Its main objective is to prevent work related accidents and illnesses involving Company employees or the employees of contractors and service providers collaborating with REN.

 

SAFETY

REN considers that its main asset is its people, and as such, does not accept activity which poses a high level of risk to the health and safety of employees or the employees of contractors and service providers. For this reason, REN is committed to developing and promoting measures to eliminate or mitigate such risks.

With the aim of fighting accidents in the workplace, policies are implemented, safety procedures are followed and the best practices in this area are closely adhered to. This is achieved through numerous training courses and strict monitoring of activities so as to ensure demanding operational control. An analysis of accidents allows reassessment of the risks inherent to the activities in which they occur.

Data for 2016 were as follows:

COMPANY AVERAGE Nº OF WORKERS Nº OF HOURS WORKED Nº OF FATAL ACCIDENTS Nº OF NON-FATAL ACCIDENTS 
Nº OF DAYS LOST

Sex(M/F)

 M F M F M F M F M F

REN Rede Eléctrica

203 27 

363.538

39.105

0

0

1

0

0

0

REN Serviços

119

83 202.508 134.327 0 0 4 1 0 7

REN Gasodutos

83

11

142.376 17.317 0 0 1 0 40

0

REN Atlântico

28 3

51.659

5.114 0 0 0

0

0 0

REN Armazenagem

5 1

8.860

1.506 0 0 0 0 0 0

REN Trading

6 10.091 3.451 0 0 0 0

0

0

RENTELECOM

 3 5.121 0 0

0

0 0 0 0

Enondas

1 1.733 0 0 0 0 0 0

REN SGPS

21 21  37.837 36.133 0 0 0 0 0 0

RD Nester

13 22.373 3.340

0

0 0 0 0
Total Nº of Service Providers and Contractors 902 110 

1.875.833

228.875

0 0 0 0

INCIDENCE INDEX

Caption: The total severity index for 2016 was 204.3

SEVERITY INDEX

Caption: The total severity index for 2016 was 204.3

Both the REN Severity Index (IGMale – 47.28/IGFemale – 29.13) and the Incidence Index (IIMale – 12,47/IIFemale – 6,63) improved over figures for 2015. This was caused by a drop of 50% in the number of accidents and respective days lost (-228).

The Incidence Index (IIMale – 13.31/ IIFemale – 18.18) and Severity Index (IGMale – 229.23/ IGFemale – 0) for service providers and contractors improved due to a reduction in the number of accidents (-13) and the number of days lost (-177).

In 2016, approximately 30% of REN contractors and service providers had safety management systems in place and were certified in compliance with the OHSAS 18001/NP 4397 standard.

During 2016, REN ran training courses and safety awareness actions, involving all (100%) contractors and service providers involving a total of 178 companies.

With the aims of complying with specific legislation which requires that periodic drills be carried out, determining the effectiveness of emergency response procedures and identifying divergences and improvement opportunities, complementing the training of all those involved and ensuring compliance with regulations as a group of certified companies, in 2016, safety drills were undertaken at the Carriço facility and the Sines LNG Terminal.

Further information on this topic can be consulted on the REN website5.

5 www.ren.pt – REN>sustentabilidade>Partes Interessadas>Recursos Humanos>Segurança

 

HEALTH

For REN, it is vital to ensure that employees are provided with the best working conditions and that occupational health standards are complied with. With this in mind, REN implements the Healthy Workplace Framework adopted by the World Trade Health Organization (WHO), as a "state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease".

REN focuses on three basic and interconnected pillars in the field of health: Occupational Health, Curative Medicine and numerous health and well-being initiatives. This approach seeks to reconcile the legal requirement for Occupational Health with Curative Medicine and other actions with the goal of ensuring that our employees live and work better and in greater health.

The aims of this programme are to:

    • Provide healthy workplaces by creating conditions conducive to health and well-being;
    • Conduct diagnostics on situations;
    • Furnish people and families with the knowledge and skills to enable healthy lifestyles to be adopted;
    • Share responsibility with health organizations and those working in health care management.

 

With respect to Occupational Health, REN provides all employees with complementary clinical examinations and analyses with the aim of facilitating preventive health care.

 

'16 '15 '14

Auxiliary diagnostics (per group of examinations)

596

390

548

Medical interventions

589

401

573

Nursing interventions (per group of examinations)

580

390

548

Visits by doctors to places of work

 8 7  

REN recognizes that healthy routines and health screening bring added value to company stakeholders.

In addition to numerous internal initiatives, all REN employees are also covered by individual health care plans which can also include the family.

As a result of the different initiatives, the rate of absenteeism fell to 2.1%.

  '16 '15 '16

Absenteeism Rate

2,1%

2,3%

2,6%

nos.jpg

NÓS PROGRAMME

The REN NÓS Programme maintained its three axes of operation:

Balance, Equality and Inclusion.

Of note in 2016 once again was the external recognition of both the programme itself and the impact it had on improving the quality of life and satisfaction of workers. In this regard, REN won the following awards: 2nd place in the Healthy Workplaces Awards in the Large Company Category, held by the Psychologists’ Association; and silver in the Best in Biz Awards 2016, in the "Best Place to Work" category.

Other initiatives were also maintained, as was the case with the workshops, psychologist and nutritionist appointments, screenings and vaccinations, the academic merit award and the wedding and birth gifts, etc. A further milestone in 2016 was once again the promotion of Equality. This took place through the challenge undertaken by the REN 2015/2016 group of trainees. 

INDICATORS
  '16
Nº of initiatives 29
Nº of participations 174

SUPPORT FOR THE COMMUNITY

RELATIONS WITH THE COMMUNITY

Support for Local Communities is one of the pillars of our sustainability strategy. REN promotes involvement with the communities where the company has facilities and equipment with a view to helping the people who most interact with company infrastructures to develop.
REN develops communication plans which are suitable for the situation in each location and holds meetings with local municipalities and other stakeholders, in close coordination with company operational departments.

One of the actions which reflect this involvement is the MEDEA project, an initiative run by the SPF - Portuguese Physics Society and REN to promote the subject of physics among secondary school students. MEDEA motivates participating students to create a scientific project based on the comparison of measurements of very low frequency electrical and magnetic fields (0-300 Hz) in the environment. Emphasis is on their own school, at home and near power transmission lines, and to then search for scientifically credible information on the possible effects of these fields on human health. The MEDEA project has involved more than 1 000 students, 187 schools and around 170 teachers. In 2016, it reached record levels, involving more than 500 students from all over the country. For its 7th edition, MEDEA also had the largest number ever of teams enrolled. This year around 100 took part, more than double the figures for 2015. They represented 57 Portuguese teaching institutions.

A further example is the initiative “Heróis de Toda a Espécie” (Heroes of Every Kind) which started in September 2016. This programme is for children in years three and four of primary school and is supported by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests and the Directorate-General of Education with technical follow-up by the environmental organization Quercus. The aim is to raise awareness among communities for the protection of biodiversity, Portuguese forests and preservation of endangered species of animals and plants.
In 2016, this initiative took place in eight different locations in Portugal and involved around 750 students and 25 teachers. In its first year, Heroes of Every Kind earned an honourable mention in the "Community" category at the awards for the Recognition of Social Responsibility Practices (APEE – the Portuguese Business Ethics Association). 

With regard to the conversion of electricity line easements, REN also carried out a reforesting programme with students and teachers from schools in the Vila Verde district, under the slogan of “Plant Tomorrow Together” and two actions with the local press (Castelo Branco and Póvoa de Lanhoso).
The aim was to raise awareness of how best practices in the more active management of easement vegetation can reduce maintenance costs, increase times between interventions and improve co-responsibility with owners.

With respect to company infrastructure, in 2016, seven all-terrain vehicles were donated to local municipalities and fire departments for use by the community and fire fighters. The aim was to improve fire surveillance measures and prevent forest fires. 

 

Owners 

In 2016, 14 400 land owners were contacted. The land in question is either already used or about to be used for our electricity transmission networks. A further 31 properties were also acquired to install new electrical and natural gas infrastructure . Moreover, 1 682 owner compensation cases were concluded, representing an investment of six million euros. With the inclusion of new properties as a result of newly installed infrastructure, the REN landowner database contained around 74 000 records at the end of 2016. This in itself shows the importance of this group of stakeholders for the company, considering Portugal's small geographical size when compared with most European countries.

Establishing compensatory arrangements for easements is not always simple. REN is at times obliged, in the common interest, to resort to impasse release mechanisms provided for in legislation, in particular the subpoena process in the case of power lines, and to request support from public authorities to move forward with work in the case of pipelines.
In 2016, REN was required to use these mechanisms only six times in new projects for electricity transmission lines in a universe of 2 126 owners contacted for the purpose.
Of the 2 126 owners contacted for the installation of new infrastructure, 1 682 compensation processes were finalized. REN always tries to reconcile both the installation and the operation of their infrastructure with the legitimate interests of other stakeholders.

Further information on this topic can be consulted on the REN6.

6 http://www.ren.pt/pt-PT/sustentabilidade/partes_interessadas/comunidade/

INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY

Research, development and innovation are seen by the REN Group as means of discovering differentiated solutions impacting on the performance of national power networks.

R&D projects were undertaken in both of the main areas of business in 2016, i.e. electricity and gas. This work was carried out at REN Group companies working in the transmission of electricity and gas, Portugal - Rede Elétrica Nacional, S.A and REN Gasodutos, S.A.

Fully aware of the of our active role in the innovation and technological development of our industry, which is inherent to our work and the current and future challenges the energy sector faces, REN undertakes R&D both internally as well as in cooperation with counterpart organizations and academic institutions.

Of note is the work done by the R&D NESTER research centre7 in four R&D projects which focus on the following areas: Renewable Energy Management; Power System Simulation; Smart Grid Technology; Management and Operation of Networks; Energy Economy and Markets. All of these areas saw significant advances in 2016.

 

Investment in R&D

In 2016, investment in R&D at the REN Group companies REN Rede Eléctrica Nacional, S.A. and REN Gasodutos, S.A. stood at 790 thousand euros8.

At the Centro de Investigação em Energia REN-State Grid, S.A, investment was close to 2 million euros.

According to data available to date, it is estimated that in 2016 a similar level of investment was achieved.

The values reported refer to expenditure on internal and external activities for several projects underway internally and/or in cooperation with national and international entities, including academic institutions recognized by the national scientific and technological system.

In the specific case of R&D Nester, other costs involved include those for the conclusion of the laboratory for two projects underway which has provided REN with simulation equipment for electricity transmission networks.

7 REN Group subsidiary set up in 2013 as a result of the agreement signed between REN – Redes Energéticas Nacionais and CEPRI – China Electric Power Research Institute (on behalf of State Grid International Development).

8 Values reported to the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) in mandatory replies to national scientific potential surveys.

 

HIGHLIGHTS 

R&D work at REN has seen an increase in the sharing of knowledge and learning processes through projects which cover all REN Group companies, thus maximizing synergies in the electricity and gas sectors. An example of this are the R&D projects used in REN applications to the SIFIDE programme9, for the financial year of 2015.

 

Internal R&D Projects

    • At the Electricity Business Unit, R&D projects focused on the performance of RNT lines and the respective impact on quality of service:
      • Performance of operational RNT lines during atmospheric discharges - project undertaken in partnership with Labelec. This aim of this project is to study the relevant factors influencing atmospheric discharges to determine the concentrated areas of network most sensitive to lightning. Once identified, the project intends to seek possible solutions to minimize impact on quality of service.
    • At the Gas Business Unit, R&D projects have focused on the energy efficiency of underground gas storage facilities: 
      • A substantial improvement in the energy efficiency of underground gas storage facilities – The goal of this project is to research and simulate the technical feasibility of a new concept on a global scale, Compressed Gas Energy Storage (CGES). It will assess its potential with respect to improving energy efficiency in underground gas withdrawal processes.
      • Dynamic solution for the analysis of odorant content - Development of a new methodology to determine the level of Tetrahydrothiophene (THT), through the practical application of algorithms which allow the THT content to be calculated at individual network points (in line with gas flows). This enables significant levels of efficiency to be achieved in the odorization process as well as lower sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions.
    • In partnership with R&D NESTER, REN is collaborating in four R&D projects, which are described in greater detail later in this report. They include:
        • "Renewable Energy Dispatch";
        • "Substation of the Future";
        • "Energy Storage";
        • "Simulation, planning and operation of electrical power networks".

  

R&D projects in partnership with other international organizations

Highlights of European projects in which REN participates include EUPORIAS (2012-2017) - European Provision Of Regional Impacts Assessments on Seasonal and Decadal Timescales. This is a project funded by the 7th European Framework Programme (FP7), coordinated by the MET OFFICE (UK) and involves 24 participants including REN as a stakeholder.

The aim of this project is to explore the value of seasonal meteorological forecasts on a decadal timescale in Europe. Through access to this information, the project seeks to develop methodologies to use these forecasts, applying them in different key sectors of the national economy which are clearly exposed to weather phenomena, although with different levels of sensitivity. 

Website: http://www.euporias.eu/

9 SIFIDE - Tax Incentive System for R&D at Companies.

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R&D NESTER HIGHLIGTS

For R&D NESTER, 2016 saw the consolidation of the strategic development plan set out at the time this R&D centre was founded. Of note were the significant advances made in the four R&D started internally in 2013. The results of these projects have been recognized by the technical-scientific community. Highlights include: 

    • Publication of papers and articles in scientific magazines; 
    • Presentations at several national and international conferences; 
    • The submission of three provisional requests for patents;
    • The practical application of some results; 
    • The setting up of a laboratory - REAL TIME POWER SYSTEMS SIMULATION LABORATORY.

 

This and further additional information on R&D NESTER work can be seen at www.rdnester.pt.

 

Internal R&D Projects

‘Renewable Energy Dispatch’ – the main aim of this project is to implement new tools which can be used by system operators to manage high levels of renewable energy penetration, such as solar and wind. These tools help mitigate the variable and intermittent nature of these sources of energy.

Work has made a considerable contribution to the management of risk inherent to the high levels of renewable energy penetration in the electricity system, supplying network and systems operators with practical tools.

Some of the results have already been introduced, including a new tool to forecast photovoltaic production.

As a result of work carried out, R&D Nester has published several articles which have been presented at international events, such as:

    • "Ensemble-Based Estimation of Wind Power Forecast Uncertainty", EEM15 - 12th International Conference of the European Energy Market, May/15;
    • "Improvements in wind power forecast", IO15 - XVII APDIO Congress, Sep/15;
    • "Wind power forecast uncertainty using dynamic combination of predictions", DEMSEE 2015, Sep/15;
    •  "Wind power forecast uncertainty using dynamic combination of predictions", publication in Periodica Polytechnica Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 59(3), pp. 78-83, Aug/15;
    • "Probabilistic dimensioning of tertiary control reserve driven by the intermittency of renewable generation in Portugal", Cigré Session 46, Paris, Aug/16.

 Energy Storage - the main aim of this R&D Nester project was to develop a multi-scenario and multi-attribute methodology for energy storage planning in electricity transmission networks.

Work over the last three years has made considerable inroads to the understanding of the multiple potential roles of the storage of power in the electricity system, as well as the technologies involved and their main characteristics. This project also contributed to the development of a methodology and a tool specifically for energy storage planning. These tools allow the different technologies and solutions used by network operators and other energy industry players to be compared when planning their infrastructure, including energy storage solutions.

As a result of work carried out, R&D Nester has published two articles which have been presented at international events:

    • "Planning Energy Storage in Power Transmission Networks", IEEE Green Energy and Systems Conference 2014, California, USA, Nov/14;
    • "Siting and Sizing Dispersed Energy Storage in Power Transmission Networks", IEEE Green Energy and Systems Conference 2015, California, USA, Nov/15.

 Substation of the Future - The aim here is to define and demonstrate a new concept of secondary substation systems including protection, automation, control, monitoring and metering. These systems can be implemented by transmission network concessionaires through research which will result in a real-time testing platform for future smart + generation substations.
A new vision and technical specifications will be defined and developed based on high reliability, creativity, scalability, interoperability, standardization and easy to manage requirements and maintenance. All of these aspects will be based on international standards and advanced CIT (communication and information technologies) platforms, optimizing cost-benefits throughout the working life of transmission network assets. The results of this project have given REN a perspective of more efficient substations with additional functionalities in future developments.

 

As part of this project, the following papers have been presented at international events:

    • “A joint research on the substation of future between Portugal and China”, Advanced Power System Automation and Protection Conference, Nanjing, China, Apr/15;
    • “Enhanced testing platform for the Smart Substation”, PAC World Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Jun/16;
    • “Integrated Simulation Model of Power System Protection Schemes and Process Bus Communication Networks”, Electrical Power and Energy Conference, Ottawa, Canada, Oct/16;
    • “Using the IEC 61850 formal description capabilities towards a vendor-independent PAC specification”, CIGRE Joint Colloquium ‘Building Smarter Substations’, Mexico City, Mexico, Nov/16.

 Simulation, planning and operation of electrical power networks - this project seeks to meet two infrastructure requirements. Firstly, the need for a simulator with sufficient time-based calculation capability to simulate different interactions, e.g. control and protection systems. Secondly, to research and improve the current interface between transmission and distribution system operators taking into account regulations since published by the European Commission to promote greater TSO/DSO cooperation (e.g. real-time information exchange). This scenario is against a backdrop of the growing presence of widespread energy generation sources. 

 

As a result of work carried out, R&D Nester published and presented the following Articles at international events:

    • “TSO and DSO Collaboration: The Need for Data Exchange”, 10th Jubilee International Conference on Deregulated Electricity Market Issues in South Eastern Europe (DEMSEE’15), Budapest, Hungary, Sep/15;
    • “Improving Power System Operation in the Presence of RES”, IO’15- XVII APDIO Congress, Sep/15;
    • “Wind Power Curtailment Optimization for Day-Ahead Operational Planning”, IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Oct/16.

 Highlights in 2016 in this and the ‘Smart Substation’ project include the setting up of a real time power systems simulation laboratory with high computing capability to simulate, analyse and study networks, with regard to power and communications systems. Potential also exists for real-time energy system analysis.

R&D PROJECTS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

 

    • ISSWINDEMO- Integrated Supporting Services for the Wind Power Industry Demonstrator – Demonstration project funded by the ESA (European Space Agency), started in March 2016 and extending over two years. As part of continued work on the ISSWIND project, the 1st part - feasibility study - has now been concluded.
      The aim is to explore aerospace technology for Earth observation and a global navigation satellite system with a view to developing commercially viable support services for the wind energy industry.
      Bearing in mind the different requirements of stakeholders in this industry, including electricity TSOs, the ISSWINDEMO demonstration project seeks to provide an integrated solution with four services: 1. Wind resource maps; 2. Wind and wave hindcast databases; Service 3. Weather and ocean forecasting; 4. Wind power forecasting.


      R&D Nester’s contribution as a partner in this demonstration project is principally to provide commercial and technological innovation drivers for an integrated ISSWIND solution. A key underlying characteristic of ISSWIND services is the assimilation of data produced by Earth observation satellites and the global navigation satellite system to improve the quality of service. In other words, coverage of o shore areas and weather forecasting error and forecasts on the production of energy
      to feed the system.


      Website

      The potential benefits for REN relate to the possible improvement in forecasts for renewable resources and the consequent optimizing of REN operations and management, such as the minimizing of risks.
    • SusCity: Urban system modelling to promote creative and resourceful transition, a Collaborative Project funded by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation - FCT (via MIT- Portugal) and a group of private organizations. This project started in January 2015 and is expected to last three years.

      The goal is to catalyse the generation and proliferation of scalable urban interventions through the development and deployment of a multi-dimensional Urban systems Simulator and Dashboard (USD). While the visualization and communication of data is essential, urban models will provide the ability to envision alternative scenarios and new services and products, founded on rigorous urban science. The team proposes to couple a multi-dimensional simulation with physical urban modelling and data collection machine to serve these objectives.

      Website

      Potential benefits to REN include better understanding of the implications of Smart City concepts in network management, thus allowing improved preparation for future scenarios. 
    • SmartNet (H2020-LCE-06-2015) - SmartNet - Smart TSO-DSO interaction schemes, market architectures and ICT Solutions for the integration of ancillary services from demand side management and distributed generation.

      This project is funded by the Europeu Horizonte 2020 programme, coordinated by the RSE and has 22 partners (from the world of academia, industry and R&D organizations) from nine European countries. The project started in 2016 and will last three years. R&D NESTER sits on the Advisory Board.

      The SmartNet project aims to provide optimised instruments and modalities to improve the coordination between the grid operators at national and local level (respectively the TSOs and DSOs) and the exchange of information for monitoring and for the acquisition of ancillary services (reserve and balancing, voltage balancing control, congestion management) from subjects located in the distribution segment (flexible load and distributed generation).

      Website
    • BigDataOcean - Project approved in 2016 under the Europeu Horizonte 2020 programme. R&D Nester is a consortium member along with both academic and industrial entities from Greece, the UK, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Israel.

      This project is to start in 2017 and will last 30 months. The main objective is to enable maritime big data scenarios for EU-based companies, organisations and scientists, through a multi-segment platform, against a backdrop of ocean resources.

      This platform will combine data of different variety, volume and origins under an inter-linked, trusted, multilingual engine to produce a big-data repository of value and veracity back to the participants and local communities.

      R&D Nester's contribution is to focus on the energy related topics and applications provided for in the project.

      Website

 

Other R&D Nester activities in 2016:

    • Submission of applications for funding to the Europeu Horizonte 2020 and Portugal 2020;
    • Submission of applications to SIFIDE for the financial year of 2015;
    • Maintenance of the R&D Nester certified R&D&I management system, in accordance with NP4457 - Research, Development and Innovation;
    • Continuation of thematic dissemination and work sessions with shareholder technical teams entitled 'Innovation Hour';
    • Continued setting up of an innovation network with national and international counterpart and related entities, including the University of Aalborg, the National Energy and Geology Laboratory (LNEG), EnergyIn, Institute of Power Systems – North China Electric Power University, School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering - North China Electric Power University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Generg, Renewable Energy Association, the Superior Institute of Business and Labour Sciences, the Luso-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Cotec.
    • Participation in the "European Energy Research Alliance Programme" so as to promote international networking and participation in international projects

 

R&D Nester work and REN research thus continue to contribute to REN's mission and commitments, creating solutions for the efficient development, operation and management of energy networks. This work also enables suitable management of the inherent risks, while benefiting society in general and in line with national goals.

10 SIFIDE - Tax Incentive System for R&D at Companies.

PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUPS

I – ENTSOs

REN has continued to cooperate and participate in the activities of the European TSO associations (ENTSO-E and ENTSO-G) with the aim of achieving implementation of the 3rd legislative package in the EU energy sector.

 

1.1 ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity):

In relation to Regulation (EC) No 714/2009, REN has participated in ENTSO-E activities particularly through its presence at the General Meeting, on the System Development Committee; System Operations Committee; Market Committee; Research and Development Committee; Legal and Regulatory Group and also in the European Affairs Expert Group.

With regard to Network Codes, REN has contributed to the approval and implementation process for the European network codes in the areas of planning, operation and markets. This was achieved by accompanying comitology processes and the preparation of the respective national implementation in collaboration with the DGEG and ERSE. At the same time, the Company has assisted ENTSO-E in the checking of the final wording of these laws.

 

The most important achievements in 2016 include:

    • Final phase of the comitology process for the Emergency Code and System Reboot (ER) and the System Operation Guidelines (SOGL);
    • Sending for approval by the European Parliament of the Capacity Allocation Code (FCA), Network Connections (DCC) and HVDC (HVDC ) connections;
    • Start of implementation of the Capacity Allocation Code and Congestion Management (CACM) and Requirements for Generators (RfG).

 

1.2 ENTSO-G (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas):

ENTSO-G continued active during 2016 with working groups in its three main areas of business: Market, System Development and System Operation. 

With respect to Regulation (EC) No 715/2009, REN participated in the following ENTSO-G bodies and groups: General Meeting, Liaison Group, Legal Team, System Development – WG Investment; Market – WG Capacity, WG Balancing, WG Tariffs, System Operations – WG Transparency and WG Interoperability; and Kernel Group on Revision of Regulation on Security of Supply.

Of note in 2016 was the comitology finalizing of the Network Code on Harmonized Transmission Tariff Structures (TAR) and the change to the Capacity Allocation and Congestion Mechanism Code (CACM).

 

II – EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS

REN is on the European Transparency Register and as such plays a part in the different stages of the European legislative process at the different institutions.

In relation to European policy and legislation initiatives to reinforce interconnections, it should be noted that REN took part in the High Level Group on the Interconnectivity of the Iberian Peninsula, accompanying studies on electricity and natural gas interconnection projects. 

The process was started to accompany the Clean Energy Package which the European Commission launched on 31 November 2016.

 

III - WORKING GROUPS PRESIDED OVER BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

With respect to the legislation initiative for the implementation of priority European energy infrastructures, REN actively participated in the NSI West Electricity Cross Regional Group and NSI West Gas Cross Regional Group, under the presidency of the European Commission. 

 

IV - MED-TSO AND FRIENDS OF THE SUPERGRID

In relation to the contract signed between Med-TSO and the European Commission which provides for the development from 2015-2017 of the Mediterranean Project, several activities were undertaken by the Technical Committees with the aim of developing this project which primarily seeks to plan the reinforcing and integration of electrical systems in this region.

REN, a founder member of this association of Mediterranean electricity transmission system operators, plays an active role in the Vice-Presidency this Association while also presiding over the Operational Activities Coordination Committee. It is also represented on all the Med-TSO technical committees mentioned above. Active participation was also continued in the Regional Group West. 

As part of the participation in this association, of note is the relevant role relating to activities for the Union platform for the Mediterranean (UpM).

In this year, REN continued its participation at Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG).

 

V – GIE (Gas Infrastructure Europe), GTBI (Gas Transmission Benchmarking Initiative) and MARCOGAZ:

At GIE, an association representing European gas infrastructure companies at European institutions and other stakeholders, REN has continued to participate and accompany work and meetings and was also present at the annual conference. This year the conference discussed the topic of Energy Union, and the future perspectives for the European Energy System for 2030.

During the 2014-2016 period, REN presided over the GTBI – Gas Transmission Benchmarking Initiative. This is a platform of ten European gas transmission network operators which aims to structure and disseminate natural gas transmission performance indicators among members.
The aim is to improve operating efficiency through the sharing of “good practices” in the sector.

REN is a member of the Executive Board and the General Meeting of MARCOGAZ, the technical association of the European gas industry which develops standards and shares best practices in technical subjects.