EU plans renewables-friendly grid expansion to 2050

A consortium of transmission system operators, energy associations, research institutions, universities, private companies and a non-governmental organization – all led by French grid operator RTE – is planning the expansion of the grid on a transnational basis up to 2050.

The implementation of electricity super highways and the need to transport distributed generation from solar, wind and biomass to areas of demand with smart grids and energy storage are central planks of the e-Highway 2050 project.

The scheme will examine a range of generation and demand scenarios for the years 2030, 2040 and 2050.

The project will consider grid expansion solutions by taking into account cost benefit analyses which include aspects such as public acceptance of new structures and environmental benefits.

The e-Highway2050 plan, which started in September and will continue to the end of 2015, will build on the current Ten Years Network Development Plan drafted by the European Network of Transmission Systems Operators for Electricity.

It is supported by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation within the Seventh Framework Program for Research.

The consortium members are: RTE; SINTEF, Norway; AMPRION, Germany; TECHNOFI, France; REN, Portugal; ELIA Group, Belgium/Germany; RSE, Italy; dena, Germany; ENTSO-E, Belgium; CEPS, Czech Republic; SWISSGRID, Switzerland; TERNA, Italy; Brunel University, UK; COMILLAS University, Spain; IST, Portugal; KU Leuven KUL, Belgium; ENSIEL, Italy; TU Berlin, Germany; ECN, Netherlands; IPE, Poland; EURELECTRIC, Belgium; EUROPACABLE, Belgium; EWEA, Belgium; T&D EUROPE, Belgium; POYRY, UK; E3G, Belgium; PSE, Poland; and CEP, UK.