Today the webinar or rather web conference series of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) under the motto “Vision for the future of the power system” started. The online events with panel discussions focus on the upcoming challenges and opportunities for the European energy system up to 2030 – how can we best contribute to climate neutrality by 2050, how can we put the customer first, and how can we increase the flexibility of the transmission system? The series was kicked off by the two-hour video conference “ENTSO-E’s Vision 2030: major trends and developments”. The core message was clear and ultimately resonated through all the contributions: “We need a multi-layer, multi-player, cross-sector and cross-border coordination, cooperation and integration.”
The first webinar of the series started with an introductory speech by Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E. Among the other contributors were Joachim Balke, Head of Unit for Infrastructure and Regional Cooperation in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy, and Morten Petersen, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. Both high-ranking representatives of European energy policy gave keynote speeches. Mr Balke reported on “The Green Deal: Pathways to deliver on the European long-term ambitions”. He stressed the possible synergies and said that we would only be able to achieve our goals if we stopped hesitating and started now. Mr Petersen spoke about “Key milestones on the path to climate neutrality by 2050 and delivering the Green Deal”.
Radical changes ahead
The issues addressed in the other individual presentations related to the ENTSO-E visions of the energy future and dealt with project scenarios in the network development plans, system needs, and the main trends in the energy system identified by ENTSO-E. Dimitrios Chaniotis, Chair of the System Development Committee of ENTSO-E, also described the enormous savings potential for Europe, but also the “significant uptake of HVDC transmission” through the offshore development. Timothée Decroix, Chair of the Policy & Communication Expert Group of ENTSO-E, explained the close linkage between System Operations and Market Design. The system change would be more radical than most people were aware of today. Power transmission grids were of crucial importance, but they could not solve the major tasks ahead on their own.
Damian Cortinas, Vision 2030 Project Leader at ENTSO-E, then came to a kind of conclusion: a “System of Systems” had to be established jointly, in which the Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) such as TSCNET Services were developed into Regional Coordination Centres (RCCs). The success of this system on would depend on four factors in particular: “resilience, forecasts, automation and artificial intelligence”.
Three stakeholder representatives brought various additional aspects to the discussion: Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe (Climate Action Network), Monique Goyens, Director General of the European consumer organisation BEUC, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General of the industry association Hydrogen Europe. The open discussion that followed, with well over 20 contributions, was also very lively and highlighted many vastly different aspects. By the way, five more ENTSO-E webinars are scheduled in the next two days – it’s worth taking part.