The company’s positioning in the innovation ecosystem makes REN a very attractive living laboratory for technological development, and encourages collaborations and partnerships in the development of RDI initiatives and projects.
REN supports Técnico Fuel Cell, a multidisciplinary team of students from Instituto Superior Técnico, who are developing an urban car powered purely by hydrogen. The first major goal of this project is participation in the Shell Eco-marathon, one of the world’s largest student engineering competitions focusing on energy optimisation and efficiency.
REN is a partner of Fundação Económicas – Fundação para o Desenvolvimento das Ciências Económicas, Financeiras e Empresariais, an entity whose purpose is to carry out, promote, and sponsor scientific research, innovation, and the development of studies on economic, financial, or business topics, by itself or in collaboration with any national entities.
REN is part of the Portuguese Institute of International Relations, an academic institute dedicated to advanced studies in Political Science and International Relations, founded in 2003 by NOVA University Lisbon, the Luso-American Development Foundation and Fundação Oriente, with the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The Institute is an integrated project structured along three axes: scientific research, specialised training, and the transfer of knowledge and creation of social value.
REN has a protocol with the University of Évora for the study and conservation of animal communities under power transmission lines. A partnership that appears within the scope of the LIFE LINES – “Redes de Infraestruturas Lineares com Soluções Ecológicas” project and enables the creation of true “biodiversity islands” under the poles. LIFE LINES is a partnership between University of Évora, Infraestruturas de Portugal, the City Councils of Évora and Montemor-o-Novo, Marca (a Local Development Association), and the Universities of Aveiro and Porto (Faculty of Science).
An agreement was established with Porto Business School as part of the rePLANT project to study new uses and applications of the data obtained by the monitoring systems to be installed in REN’s assets for the observation of surrounding areas, as a way of identifying ignition points and predicting the spread of fires in forest areas. The rePLANT project brings together more than twenty entities – companies, universities, and research centres. It is of national interest and will bring new technologies aiming to develop the Portuguese forest and make it safer and more resilient.
REN and the University of Coimbra have been collaborating on different innovation projects. Within the scope of the rePLANT project, REN and the University of Coimbra are jointly responsible for one of the main activities, concerning the monitoring and management of fire risk, both in the protection of REN’s infrastructure in forest environments and in forest protection.
REN is part of ENTSO-E through the Research, Development, and Innovation Committee (RDIC), responsible for developing a structured and consolidated vision of the RDI activities. The role of the Committee and of its working groups is to share knowledge among the various transmission system operators, analyse concepts, methodologies, and technologies that provide a vision of the future of energy transmission systems, and promote the implementation of innovative technologies. ENTSO-E is a non-profit association based in Brussels that brings together 42 electricity transmission operators from 35 European countries. According to EU legislation, its goals are to strengthen the cooperation of transmission operators in areas such as the development of the European Network Codes, the coordination of the system’s operation, and the development of the networks.
REN is a member of the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, which is part of the United Nations Environment Programme. The OGMP 2.0 seeks to reduce methane emissions and supports the implementation of a well-structured and appropriate monitoring, reporting, and verification system to more accurately detect and quantify methane gas emissions by industry operators.
REN is part of the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB), an initiative that brings together 29 European energy infrastructure operators in the common goal of accelerating Europe’s decarbonisation through a thriving renewable and low-carbon hydrogen market. Since its inception in 2020, the EHB has contributed to the development of a European hydrogen market, publishing maps and studies of the vision of a pan-European hydrogen transmission infrastructure that demonstrate that it is technically feasible and economically affordable.
In 2022, REN joined the RGI – Renewables Grid Initiative, an entity aimed at the collaboration of Non-Governmental Organisations and Energy Transmission Network Operators from all over Europe, and which promotes the development of transparent and environmentally sustainable networks in line with the Paris Agreement. Since 2014, the RGI has bestowed the Good Practices of the Year award, which is intended for initiatives that demonstrate good practice in the areas of Communication, Technological Innovation, and Environmental Protection. In 2021, RGI awarded REN’s “Environmental Impact Studies: Virtual Visit” project in the “Communication & Engagement” category. In 2022, REN won first prize in the “Technological Innovation & System Integration” category with the SPEED-e project for charging electric vehicles from the very-high-voltage electricity grid.
REN is part of Eurobar, an initiative that brings together a few of the largest European energy transmission operators, and which seeks to interconnect offshore wind farms in Europe in a safe and efficient manner. The goal is to evolve in the standardisation of interfaces and technologies for these interconnections, thus enabling their development and a reduction in environmental impact.
REN is a member of Hydrogen Europe, an institution that represents the hydrogen and fuel cell sector at a European level, and which includes over 150 companies, including the main TSOs, over 100 RDI organisations, and national associations. Hydrogen Europe is committed to supporting and enabling its members in the transition to a carbon-neutral circular economy while creating sustainable jobs.
REN, through Portgás, REN-Gás, and REN-Gasodutos, has also joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, a European Commission initiative that seeks to accelerate the development of the hydrogen value chain by 2030.
REN is part of COTEC Portugal – Business Association for Innovation, an entity that promotes reflection on the trends and factors that will influence the next generation of business, business strategies, investments, and competitiveness of companies. It seeks to support the creation of new platforms for collaborative innovation and links between members and other agents in the innovation system, as well as to contribute to the improvement of the system of Public Policies to stimulate business innovation and systematic and rigorous analysis of their effectiveness.
REN Elétrica and Portgás obtained the status of COTEC 2022 INNOVATIVE companies, thus seeing their performance in investment in innovation, financial robustness, and economic performance recognised.
REN participates in this laboratory as a member, thus being part of ForestWISE's social capital and having responsibilities related to participation in management bodies and the definition, implementation, and supervision of the innovation agenda of the CoLAB.
Members are also the main drivers of the innovation agenda, and in the case of companies, the main clients of the technological solutions and products to be developed at ForestWISE.
As a founding member of Biopolis, REN maintains its Biodiversity Chair, promoting a line of work and research on biodiversity management and conservation, including technological development applied to this field.
Through this intervention axis, projects have been developed, such as automatic collision detection (in partnership with INESC-TEC) and evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-nesting devices, with the aim of mitigating the impacts of birdlife and increasing system reliability.