On 2 February 2018 the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (“ENTSO-E”) released Europe Power System 2040: completing the map (the “Pan-European Report”), together with six Regional Investment Plans.

These reports represent the second stage of the Ten-Year Network Development Plan (“TYNDP”) for 2018, an overarching plan that seeks to build on national development programs to determine the transmission, interconnection and storage projects required for a stable and decarbonised pan-European electricity network. We commented on the first stages of TYNDP 2018, including the Scenario Report published by ENTSO-E, in a previous Law-Now. The reports take the analysis from TYNDP 2016 a step further by looking at the investment that will be required beyond 2030.

The Pan-European Report

The Pan-European Report anticipates that, by 2040, up to 75% of the total European energy demand could be generated from renewable energy sources (“RES”). It contends that an increase in member states’ reliance on interconnection capacity, along with the right reinforcements to internal transmission networks, can facilitate the integration of this increased generation from RES (e.g. by reducing the curtailment of renewable overcapacity), while also bringing down EU-wide market prices and strengthening security of supply. The reports seek to identify network needs at the continental and regional levels to determine where transmission and interconnection projects are most needed. They also consider the technical challenges to be addressed, as well as the changes that may be needed to the relevant regulatory framework, by 2040.

The key conclusions of the Report were:

  • “There will be a need for increased transmission capacity in some places to make the system work in 2040.” Increasing generation from RES will create new interconnection needs across and between all regions, which in turn require a high level of internal reinforcements to national grids.
  • “A lack of new investments by 2040 would hinder the development of the integrated energy market” – threatening prices for consumers and security of supply in some regions. The benefits of investment outweigh the costs. Investment is also required to enable Europe to meet its climate targets.
  • The integration of non-controllable, distributed generation from RES will present technical and regulatory challenges. New frequency and voltage stability systems will be required, along with greater policy harmonisation.

The Regional Investment Plans

The following table summarises the key points from each of the Regional Investment Plans.

Click here to view the table.

On 30 January 2018, ENTSO-E release a paper jointly with Europacable, the European industry body for cable manufacturers, on demand forecasts for European high voltage cables based on TYNDP 2016. The paper predicts that the industry’s annual HVDC cable production will be more than adequate to meet the 42,000km of cabling required by 2030.

ENTSO-E published a draft Bidding Zone Review for consultation on 9 February 2018. TSOs in each member state are required to make the full capacity of cross-zonal transmission and interconnection assets fully available to market participants and to give due consideration to these when determining national capacity. The review examines the boundaries of the zones into which the EU has been divided for the purpose of these regulations; it concludes that, while there may be benefits to splitting the larger member states to achieve a larger number of more similarly sized zones, the evidence is insufficient to move away from the status quo.

Coming up…

The Pan-European Report and the Regional Investment Plans are open for public consultation until 28 February 2018. The Bidding Zone Review consultation closes on 9 March 2018.

The final stage of TYNDP 2018 is scheduled to be released later this year and is to include a cost benefit analysis of about 200 transmission and storage projects.