For the achievement of the European Union’s ambitious renewable energy targets for 2020 and beyond, extensive electricity system planning and investments are necessary. This covers electricity generation capacity, transmission networks, and supporting technologies and measures that will ensure clean, secure and efficient energy supply.
The main objective of the GridTech project is to conduct a fully integrated assessment of new grid-impacting technologies and their implementation into the European electricity system. This will allow comparing different technological options towards the exploitation of the full potential of future electricity production from renewable energy sources (RES-E), with the lowest possible total electricity system cost.
1. Project Objectives
- Assess the non-technical barriers for transmission expansion and market compatible renewable electricity integration in Europe.
- Develop a robust cost-benefit analysis methodology on investments in most suitable new technologies fostering large-scale renewable electricity and storage integration into the European transmission grid.
- Apply and verify the cost-benefit methodology for investments in the transmission grid on national and European level.
- Achieve a common understanding among key actors and target groups on best-practise criteria for the implementation of new technologies fostering large-scale renewable electricity and storage integration.
- Deliver tailor-made recommendations and action plans, taking into account the legal, regulatory, and market framework.
The purpose of the analysis is to assess where, when, and to which extent innovative technologies could effectively contribute to the further development of the European transmission grid, fostering the integration of an ever-increasing penetration of RES-E generation and boosting the creation of a pan-European electricity market, while maintaining competitive and sustainable electricity supply.
The analysis focusses on the most promising and innovative technologies that directly or indirectly impact the transmission system:
Electricity generation technologies, with a focus on variable RES-E:
- Onshore and offshore wind energy generation technologies
- Large-scale solar technologies: Concentrated-Solar Power (CSP) and Photovoltaics (PV)
Bulk energy storage technologies:
Active transmission technologies directed at improvements in transmission network control and flexible electricity system operation:
Demand response technologies/Measures
3. Geographical Scope
Accommodating high shares of variable/ intermittent renewable electricity (RES-E) generation is a challenge that several European countries are already facing.
Although large-scale RES-E integration significantly depends on the specific characteristics of the electricity system in each country (mix and flexibility of power plant portfolio, transmission interconnection capacities to neighbouring market zones, etc.), the fundamental challenges are the same all over Europe.
In addition to top-down modelling covering the entire EU30+ region, GridTech will also focus on 7 target countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
These countries are of strategic importance and are also representative of the existing and future European electricity systems.