Image: TenneT

A group of eight European transmission system operators (TSOs) are to develop a joint plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan, which is due to be completed by mid-2021, will address the strategies of TSOs in meeting their own carbon reduction goals, as well as the opportunities at system level that are being driven by large scale electrification and the integration of renewable energies.

TSOs as key players in the energy transition have a major role to play in contributing to emissions reduction. They can contribute in two ways, one by reducing the direct emissions of their own activities and value chain and the other, and more significantly, by contributing to reducing emissions at the energy system level.

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The full potential of renewables integration can only be realised if grid expansion is accelerated and renewables are part of the energy market design. These are driving key transformations towards achieving Europe’s long-term decarbonisation targets.

TSOs must implement innovative solutions to deal with electrification and renewables integration. As a result, there is a need for the timely development of an innovative grid infrastructure that incorporates flexible tools in the public interest.

The TSOs say in a joint statement that despite their contribution to emissions reduction, their key role is not often fully recognised or well documented at the European level.

Most of the focus and efforts are still within the bounds of TSOs’ activities, for which the greenhouse gas emission inventory is standardised (GHG protocol).

Increasing TSOs’ ambitions for emissions targets, sustainability plans and the implementation of enabling instruments requires a joint approach and enhanced cooperation on how to classify and measure system-level emissions reduction.

The TSOs participating in the initiative are Amprion (Germany), APG (Austria), Elia Group (Belgium, Germany), Red Eléctrica (Spain), RTE (France), Swissgrid (Switzerland), TenneT (Netherlands, Germany) and Terna (Italy).