Planning of electricity and gas networks at European level
EU project: Integration of large shares of renewable energy requires a trans-national strategy
Brussels/Berlin, 31. October 2011. The EU countries should develop a joint strategy for the development of European energy infrastructures. According to the participants in the SUSPLAN (PLANning for SUStainability) project, this is a basic requirement for further expanding renewable energy and climate protection beyond current targets. The recently finalised research project SUSPLAN which ran for about three years was carried out by a European consortium of research institutes, universities and consultants and funded by the EU Commission.
The SUSPLAN project examined the challenges involved in the Europe-wide integration of large amounts of renewable energy in the period from 2030 to 2050. Four scenarios were assumed, each with a different level of renewable development. The most ambitious scenario assumes that by 2050 renewables will meet over 50 per cent of total final energy demand and about 70 per cent of power generation in Europe.
The SUSPLAN project used the example of nine European regions to analyse how the structure of generation and demand will change, and how the electricity and gas grids will have to adapt to this. The regional case studies included the Rhein-Neckar region of Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, the Pomeranian region of Poland, Serbia, Romania, Norway and the Scottish Outer Hebrides group of islands. Each region develops its own generation structure with a growing share of renewable energy according to its natural resources, and will be increasingly dependent on the exchange of electricity and gas with neighbouring regions. Some regions will become large scale exporters of renewable electricity while others will become importers.
The investigation of trans-national challenges for the European energy infrastructure revealed that there is a particular need to expand electricity transmission capacity between South-Western and Central Europe and between Northern and Southern Europe. Regarding Europe's gas supply, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the Balkans will become more important as transit regions in the coming decades.
The project was coordinated by SINTEF Energy Research in Norway. The Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) - the German Energy Agency - is one of 16 European SUSPLAN project partners from 12 countries. SUSPLAN was established under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme and is funded by the Directorate-General for Energy. A concluding presentation and discussion of the results took place at an international conference on October 7 2011 in Brussels.
A summary of the SUSPLAN results, in the form of a brochure and an interactive presentation, and further information on the SUSPLAN project can be found on the Internet at www.susplan.eu.
Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) - the German Energy Agency, Nadia Grimm, Chausseestrasse 128a, 10115 Berlin, Germany