Following the “Study Roadmap towards Modular Development Plan on the pan-European Electricity Highways System 2050” performed by ENTSO-E members in response to the Energy Infrastructure Package blueprint as published by the EC, the 28 partners consortium of the e-Highway2050 project proposes under the coordination of RTE (France) to develop and implement, in forty months, a top-down long-term planning approach.
The approach starts from the pan-European transmission network as proposed by the TYNDP 2014, which is assumed to be in line with the 2020 EU energy targets. The modular long-term planning approach follows five steps:
- The development and use of an approach to generate different long-term energy scenarios (generation, exchanges and consumption), set on the basis of macro-economic data, where the energy adequacy between generation, exchanges and consumption is ensured at the European level whatever the energy scenario studied (step 1 above). The data needed to set the boundary conditions for the e-Highway2050 project will benefit from the involvement of ENTSO-E as a project partner, the experience of SINTEF based on the SUSPLAN approach and the contribution of ECN and E3G who contributed to the ECF study. The present scenario approach integrates the results of several long term studies available today to build the energy scenarios of relevance for Europe by 2050: the ENTSO-E TYNDP 2014, the WEO 2009 and 2011 studies (IEA), the Eurelectric study, the USA NREL / DOE work, the ADAM EU-supported study, the Greenpeace/EREC study and the recent European Climate Foundation (ECF) study . This scenario-based planning methodology thus considers the whole electricity supply chain, taking into account all the relevant technical/technological, economical/financial and regulatory/socio-political dimensions (including public acceptance) needed to develop efficient, yet sustainable, grid architecture options meeting future energy supply requirements. The scenario building approach will be validated during stakeholder consulations and in-depth work with professional associations (EWEA, Eurelectric, Europacable, T&D Europe).
Scenario quantification, using the assumptions about the generation mix, exchanges and consumption by area is developed. Stochastic inputs (like renewable generation, uncontrollable consumption or failure modes of generation units) with their temporal and spatial correlations are simulated and power adequacy between generation, exchanges and consumption should be ensured probabilistically.
The use of market and power flow simulations to identify feasible and efficient pan-European grid architectures under each of the above chosen energy scenarios by 2050 (step 1).
A verification that the selected reinforcement options and novel network architecture options alleviate critical issues focusing on overload problems, and possible voltage and/or stability problems for an given level of system reliability, which in turn allows some of the successful architectures to become part of the final modular development plan over 2020 to 2050. A stakeholder consultation process covers the whole ENTSO-E area, taking into account several different cultures as well as the peculiarities of national electricity markets. The power system technology scan to be performed provides a coherent and complete data base on economic and technology performances for the technologies implied in the scanned architectures. The development of implementation routes from 2020 to 2050, proposed on the basis of network planning CBA, of appropriate wider socio-economic considerations and of grid governance models able to address issues such as cross border power flows. These data will be integrated into a set of business cases which will detail CAPEX and OPEX foreseen for typical applications of AC interconnections, DC interconnections, hybrid AC/DC lines, use of Phasor measurement units (PMU), Dynamic Line rating (DLR) or power electronics either for the optimisation of existing network architectures and/or to better control flows over long distances.
The development of implementation routes from now to 2050 of the pan-European transmission system, covering each of the studied scenario, and optimized by taking into account social welfare, environmental constraints, as well as grid operations and governance issues.
To-day’s modeling approximations are attractive due to their tractable computational requirements. However, the scale of system planning for integrating for instance offshore wind energy in Europe together with wind energy variability implies that such models do not fully capture some of the detrimental behaviors that will arise in such situations (like voltage drops). Recent approaches have generalized constructive heuristics, for various types of expansion planning; a recent paper proposes a network simulation tool which has several advantages for expansion planning. The present work will validate the type of approaches which can deal with constraints that the approach of heuristics based studies cannot fully grasp at a European scale. Research activities will therefore be implemented to develop further stochastic planning criteria, tools, planning software and methods at pan-European level.
This article is connected to the following knowledge articles:
For more information, please visit http://www.e-highway2050.eu/.
 "ROADMAP 2050: practical guide to a prosperous, low-carbon Europe” , European Climate Foundation, 2011