EU grid plan urges doubling of capacity by 2030
European TSOs published a 10-year plan that identifies the need for a doubling of high-voltage power lines with 50,000km of new cables by 2030 at an investment cost of up to EUR 150bn.
Full implementation would see Europe’s interconnection capacity double by the end of the next decade, said the chair of Entso-E’s board Pierre Bornard, who is deputy CEO in charge of European affairs at RTE France.
“In 15 years, we double something that is one century old,” Bornard told reporters in Brussels ahead of the consultation.
The improved grid would be able to transmit renewable power to where it is needed, to the point where 60% of Europe’s needs could be met by such intermittent sources, Entso-E estimated.
To achieve this, a third of the envisaged cost would cover 20,000km of mainly undersea high-voltage cables to integrate the Iberian peninsula, Italy, the Baltic States, Ireland and the UK with mainland Europe.
The biggest challenge to planning a transmission network a decade in advance is the need to forecast where and how power will be generated in the future.
“The most important factor of uncertainty today is generation,” said Bornard.
EU governments have yet to agree on a proposal from the European Commission for a target of 27% renewable energy in the EU mix by 2030 – a decision expected in time for a summit in October.
To attract the private sector funding that will be needed, there must be a “stable and clear regulatory framework”, Bornard said.
A key question is how investments are remunerated, such as the tariffs TSOs can charge for access to their cables, he added.