With the growing share of renewable energies in the electricity supply, transmission and distribution grids have to be adapted. A profound understanding of the structural characteristics of distribution grids is essential to define suitable strategies for grid expansion. Many countries have a large number of distribution system operators (DSOs) whose standards vary widely, which contributes to coordination problems during peak load hours. This study contributes to targeted distribution grid development by classifying DSOs according to their remuneration requirement. To examine the amendment potential, structural and grid development data from 109 distribution grids in South-Western Germany, are collected, referring to publications of the respective DSOs. The resulting data base is assessed statistically to identify clusters of DSOs according to the fit of demographic requirements and grid-construction status and thus identify development needs to enable a broader use of regenerative energy resources. Three alternative algorithms are explored to manage this task. The study finds the novel Gauss-Newton algorithm optimal to analyse the fit of grid conditions to regional requirements and successfully identifies grids with remuneration needs. It is superior to the so far used K-Means algorithm. The method developed here is transferable to other areas for grid analysis and targeted, cost-efficient development.
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