While COP26 is just beginning, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), the Mediterranean Transmission System Operators (Med-TSO) and the association of the Very Large Power Grid Operators (GO15) are joining forces to affirm the commitment of electricity transmission system and grid operators to fulfil their central role in addressing climate change challenges.
Indeed, with electricity demand in Europe alone predicted to rise by as much as 250 per cent by 2050, electricity transmission system and grid operators are developing and deploying essential solutions in the midst of a transition unprecedented in its scope and speed, all while maintaining the security of supply.
First of all, they are building the necessary infrastructure to connect and transport large quantities of renewable energy and zero-carbon sources often located farther away from consumption centres. They innovate into smart solutions in electricity markets, networks and operations to deal with more variability in energy sources. In other words, they work towards enabling all consumers to actively contribute to and participate in the energy transition.
The robustness of the electricity grids is key for the necessary continuity of the economic life of countries, providing solidarity across them and their regions. While the pandemic has been successfully overcome, TSOs will continue to prepare the system for all types of crises, thus improving societal resilience.
Finally, grid operators are investing and implementing powerful cross-border interconnections. The reinforcement of these infrastructures will enable to mitigate the risk of local imbalances increased by the growth of renewable sources and better use of flexible resources, thanks to a larger and more diversified geographical scale. It will allow for more security of supply, more sustainable power, while also addressing the issue of affordability. Substantial efforts will have to be made to develop the electricity networks from 2030 onwards. This requires strong anticipation and public commitment to long-term planning, assessment of costs and citizens’ consultations to explain and engage them in the development of new infrastructure.
GO15, ENTSO-E and Med-TSO thus reaffirm their commitment to support an acceleration in the transition towards a greener, more sustainable, resilient and competitive energy system – bringing a key contribution to meet the objectives set forth in the Paris Agreement.