European networks require €104bn investment by 2020


Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — July 9, 2012 – Europe’s networks require investment of €104 billion in projects of pan-European significance by 2020, according to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity’s (ENTSO-E) updated 10-year network development plan.

In line with previous estimates by the ENTSO-E, these investments are to cover the over 100 transmission projects of pan-European significance that have been identified to address “network bottlenecks” as a result of market integration and generation connection. Approximately 80 percent of the bottlenecks are related to renewable energy integration, either to the direct connection of renewables or connecting the renewable sources with load centers.

These would provide about 52,300 km of new or refurbished extra high voltage routes, including approximately 3,000 km of subsea routes.

The plan is based on an increase in generation capacity of about 250 GW in the coming decade, the majority of this (about 220 GW) in renewables, particularly large wind and solar.

Market studies suggest that by 2020 Italy, the U.K., Poland and Baltic states remain major importing countries. France and Scandinavia are the larger exporters, as is the case today, although exchanged volumes are higher. Germany, Spain and Portugal experience high exchange volumes but for both imports and exports, which results in an overall balance. As a result larger, more volatile power flows, can be expected over larger distance across Europe, mostly north to south from Scandinavia to Italy, between mainland Europe and the Iberian Peninsula, Ireland and U.K. or east to south and west in the Balkan Peninsula. Consequently investment is needed to avoid present congestion worsening and new congestion appearing.

According to the plan this effort is significant for the TSOs. However, it equates to about 1.5-2 €/MWh of power consumption in Europe over the 10-year period, which corresponds to only around 2 percent of the bulk power prices or less than 1 percent of the total end-users’ electricity bill.

The plan is also in line with the European 20-20-20 objectives.