What grid do we need to achieve Europe’s climate objectives by 2030?
In 2016, ENTSO-E released a new version of the pan-European long-term grid plan, the 10-year network development plan, or TYNDP
Updated every two years, the TYNDP analyses possible ways the next decades will unfold in terms of economic progress, technological developments, and electricity generation and demand. It shows what they could imply for future electricity network needs. The TYNDP 2016 explores four scenarios, including the possibility of a power system where 80% of the emissions will be cut by 2030.
The TYNDP also assesses all future projects for cross-border electricity transmission infrastructure in Europe, as well as large-scale electricity storage projects. It does so through a cost benefit analysis (CBA) methodology recognised by the European Commission. The TYNDP 2016 foresees around 150 billion euros of investments in grid infrastructure supporting 200 projects in transmission and storage.
The TYNDP builds on complex market and network data analysis, involving experts from the entire European electricity sector as well as consumers and environmental organisations. An international benchmark showed that the TYNDP stands unique world-wide in terms of the number of TSOs collaborating, total number of customers served, methodologies to tackle long-term challenges, and transparency of the data and process.
Where We Need to Be Heading: Key Findings of the TYNDP 2016
The TYNDP 2016 identifies 10 main boundaries, which are many main barriers to power exchanges in Europe. They obey a globally radial pattern; tensions on the grid occur between regions of Europe where potential for renewable energy sources is high (hydro and wind in Scandinavia; wind in Scotland, Ireland, Spain, and Italy; solar in Mediterranean countries) and densely populated, power consuming areas in between. These barriers appear mostly where geography has set natural barriers, such as seas and mountain ranges, which are more difficult to cross. The TYNDP project proposals address these 10 boundaries and barriers as well as many more regional ones. Interconnection capacities should double by 2030 in Europe, on average (though discrepancies are high between the different countries and scenarios).
The TYNDP therefore provides a resilient picture of reinforcements on transmission grids, mostly confirming the TYNDP 2014 project portfolio in 2016 and introducing new projects responding to system needs identified in the previous TYNDP. The list of projects and in-depth analysis of system needs were published (in 2015) in six Regional Investment Plans covering all of Europe, while the final project assessment and TYNDP reports were published in December 2016.
To come to the TYNDP conclusions, thousands of market situations were simulated and processed for every scenario. Practically all hazards that may affect the power system were considered, including frequent situations or rare ones resulting in particularly extreme flow patterns, such as peak loads in winter or summer, with extreme low or high wind/solar generation. A complete grid modelling also enabled an accurate appraisal of every physical bottleneck, allowing the most appropriate solution to be designated (upgrade of existing lines or new infrastructure need).
Transparency of TYNDP Data
ENTSO-E makes the following available to all on the TYNDP page of its website:
- data used to prepare the TYNDP – grid and market modelling datasets;
- full set of intermediary results – output of market modelling tools (hourly series for cross-border exchanges and marginal costs and yearly overview of production types per country);
- all project data including TYNDP CBA results in user-friendly Excel format, allowing further analysis of the TYNDP results.
Projects of Common Interest (PCI) Submission Platform
ENTSO-E has provided an online platform for the European Commission to allow the submission of TYNDP projects for consideration as PCIs in the third list of PCIs. The platform was launched on 21 December, with the submission period running until 22 January 2017.
Reviewed Cost-Benefit Analysis Methodology
A CBA is realised to evaluate the benefits and costs of TYNDP projects from a pan-European perspective. The feedback received from stakeholders and ENTSO-E’s experience with the CBA methodology 1.0 (used for the TYNDP 2014 and 2016), showed a need for improvement. In 2016, ENTSO-E has drafted and put to public consultation a new methodology.
After discussion with ACER and the European Commission, the proposed CBA 2.0 was submitted to ACER in December. The new methodology will be used to assess projects starting with the TYNDP 2018.
What’s in It for Society?
The TYNDP 2016 compiles €150 billion in investments of pan-European significance, of which €80 billion are for projects already endorsed in national plans and/or intergovernmental agreements by 2030. This effort is significant. Still, it only represents about 2% of the bulk power prices or less than 1% of the total electricity bill. Furthermore, this investment scheme has a significant positive effect on European social welfare. The ensuing progress in market integration will reduce bulk power prices by 1.5 to 5 €/MWh (depending on fuel and carbon dioxide (CO2) cost assumptions per scenario).
The project portfolio has a positive environmental impact. The grid has an indirect but important positive effect on CO2 emissions, as it is a prerequisite to the implementation of clean generation technologies. By either directly connecting renewable energy sources, avoiding spillage (TYNDP projects would prevent wasting the equivalent annual generation of up to 10 nuclear plants in renewable energy) or enabling more-climate-friendly units to run, the project portfolio directly contributes to up to 8% of the CO2 decrease by 2030 and indirectly drives decarbonisation by facilitating connection of renewables in an integrated European market.
(Picture) Attendees of ENTSO-E’s annual conference 2016 believe better communication is needed on the benefits of infrastructure development.
Billion Euros - investments of pan-European significance
€/MWh potential reduction in wholesale prices
of the CO2 decrease by 2030
For the first time, ENTSO-E initiated the next TYNDP process almost three years before its release in early 2016. The TYNDP continuously evolves to meet stakeholders’ rising expectations. For example, the TYNDP 2018 must answer the still-open questions about power system operation and profitability issues that are today answered in an overly simplified manner; market modelling will also evolve consistently with rising concerns about the security of the supply or the increasing demand-side response.
The focus was on the development of an entirely new set of scenarios for 2030 and 2040, co-constructed with stakeholders, and common to the gas and electricity TYNDPs 2018 (the gas TYNDP is developed by ENTSOG). Through several collaborative workshops, consultations with stakeholders, national regulators, and EU member states in 2016, ENTSO-E and ENTSOG have started drafting three new scenario storylines, which will form the basis of the next TYNDP analysis. The Scenario Report will be published in June 2017.
System adequacy is the possibility for a power system to meet demand at all times and thus guarantee the security of the supply. The ENTSO-E system adequacy forecasts not only present the views of the TSOs on risks to the security of the supply but also the countermeasures they plan, either individually or in cooperation. They also give input regarding the establishment of countermeasures by relevant stakeholders (e.g., EU member state authorities, policy makers, regulatory agencies, and energy producers) to ensure the desired adequacy levels.
ENTSO-E analyses in its forecasts the effect on system adequacy of climate conditions, planned outages, evolution of demand, demand management, evolution of generation capacities, and system stability issues. The geographical perimeter of the adequacy analyses comprises the whole ENTSO-E area, which covers 35 countries including Turkey2.
The reports also cover Kosovo3, Albania, Malta, and the Burshtyn Island in Ukraine, as they are synchronously connected with the electrical system of continental Europe. These analyses are performed at different time horizons from 10 years to six months ahead. ENTSO-E publishes an annual midterm adequacy forecast (MAF) that examines system adequacy for the next 10 years. Additionally, ENTSO-E issues its Summer Outlook every year before 1 June and its Winter Outlook before 1 December.
The MAF 2016 presented the first pan-European probabilistic assessment of adequacy. While market-based probabilistic modelling approaches have already been adopted in some national generation adequacy studies and in the Pentalateral Energy Forum’s regional adequacy assessment, this is the first time such studies have been conducted at the pan-European level. This represents a significant analytical achievement.
2. TEIAS, the Turkish transmission system operator is an ENTSO-E Observer member.
3. The designation Kosovo is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.
The Seasonal Outlooks raise awareness and incentivise stakeholders to review, for instance, the maintenance schedules of power plants, the postponement in decommissioning, and other risk preparedness actions. Each outlook is accompanied by a review of what happened during the previous season. This is used as lessons learnt for a continuous improvement of the methodology.
Infrastructure Projects: TSO Case Study
TenneT, TransnetBW/Germany –
Breaking the Mould Before Breaking Ground: SuedLink’s Early Public Participation
SuedLink – a power line project that will connect the north with the south of Germany – plays a decisive role in realising the expansion of Germany’s electricity grid for the ‘Energiewende’ – Germany’s energy transition. Resulting from a legal amendment in late 2015 for HVDC projects, such as SuedLink, HVDC power lines are now required to be implemented as underground cables. When presenting possible route options for underground cable corridors, project developers TenneT and TransnetBW have, as a rule, worked to involve the public at an early stage – even prior to the start of the federal planning procedure. Since late September 2016, in support of early participation, proposals for SuedLink cable corridors have been presented to local authorities, rural districts, and municipalities as well as to the public at locally held public events (‘Info Forums’). To date, TenneT and TransnetBW have visited 41 rural districts in six federal states and held 36 Info Forums with about 5,000 visitors in attendance. TenneT and TransnetBW have worked together with key stakeholders during the preparation of this communication phase, including mayors and those from rural districts and citizens’ initiatives.
Together with these stakeholder groups, project developers have discussed how the planning should be communicated and how public participation should be implemented. Such cooperation has a positive effect, as it defuses matters of potential conflict. For instance, in the case of Germany’s rural districts, which are one of the most important stakeholder groups, some of the district administrators cooperated when organising public events, partially taking over invitations and participating actively during the events.
One of the key goals of enabling early participation was to activate regional knowledge to assist project developers in determining potential route options for the underground cable corridors. Within the eight weeks of participation, from September to November 2016, all interested parties were invited to submit suggestions for optimising the corridor proposals. An online platform based on a geographical information system (‘WebGIS’) was installed in which comments could be pinpointed directly on a map. In addition to allowing full transparency of the planning input and decisions, the WebGIS platform also acted as a participation platform by logging and displaying user comments and suggestions.
The WebGIS platform was also a popular tool at the Info Forums, where attendees used it to incorporate their comments directly. In total, around 6,600 comments were inputted, and the maps available on the platform were accessed approximately 900,000 times. The feedback is now being evaluated by ARGE SuedLink – the working group of consulting engineers.
The comments and suggestions that could potentially reduce the effect on humans and nature are being included in the route planning and into the application to commence the federal planning procedure. Rarely has there ever been such early and comprehensive public participation in a power grid or comparable infrastructure project. Even sceptical stakeholders have praised the information policy, as echoed in media headlines such as: ‘You can’t get more transparency than that’. TenneT and TransnetBW have thus set standards by which they will be – and will be pleased to be – judged during the next project phases.
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