93GW by 2040 – that is the need for additional cross-border transmission capacity in Europe identified by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in the recently presented study “Completing the map. Power system needs in 2030 and 2040”. Just like the “Roadmap for a multi-sectorial Planning Support” published in July, the system needs study is related to ENTSO-E’s Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP). Capacity demand has been determined all across Europe, with a total need of 50GW at almost 40 borders by 2030 and 43 additional GW at more than 55 borders by 2040.
ENTSO-E considers this capacity expansion to be essential for implementing the EU Green Deal – i.e. achieving climate neutrality while controlling security and costs. To reduce energy consumption by 110TWh per year by 2040, avoid 53m tonnes of CO2 emissions, and promote market integration and price convergence between bidding zones, substantial investments are needed for additional cross-border exchanges. According to ENTSO-E, €1.3bn per year between 2025 and 2030 will reduce generation costs by €4bn per year, while investments of €3.4bn per year between 2025 and 2040 will reduce generation costs by as much as €10bn per year.
Power transmission projects currently in the design or development stage cover only about 43GW of the 93GW. The results of the ENTSO-E system needs study should lead to the design of new projects to meet newly identified demand. Project promoters may submit projects covering these needs for the TYNDP 2020 by the end of September. ENTSO-E emphasises that, in addition to increased transmission capacity, all other solutions should be considered to meet the identified needs, such as storage, hybrid offshore infrastructure, smart grids, and Power-to-X conversion technologies. The importance of coordinated cross-sectoral planning – including electricity and gas, but also transport and heat – has already been highlighted by ENTSO-E in the roadmap for multi-sectorial planning.