The Electricity Highways: Preparing the Electricity Grid of the Future

What is the e-Highway2050 project?

The e-Highway2050 is a study project funded by the European Commission aimed to build a modular development plan for the European transmission network from 2020 to 2050. The modular development plan must support EU’s overall policy objectives with regard to energy.

The study project started in September 2012 and ended in December 2015. It was led by a consortium including ENTSO-E Secretariat and 15 member TSOs together with universities, research institutes, industry associations and NGOs.

The results were presented in the e-Highway2050 International Conference on 3-4 November 2015 in Brussels.

Unveiling the Electricity Highways Project Results: “Europe’s Future Secure and Sustainable Electricity Infrastructure”

More information on the conference and project results

What is the objective?

The main goal was to develop a top-down methodology for the expansion of the pan-European electricity grid from 2020 to 2050, with a view to meeting the EU energy policy objectives. Concretely, the methodology will ensure that future EU grids can host large quantities of electricity from renewable energy sources and transport it over long distances as well as foster market integration

How does it work concretely?

Members of the e-Highway2050 consortium examined the framework conditions for EU grids expansion and, using various scenarios, developed approaches for planning this expansion respectively by 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050.

The e-Highway2050 was a complex and challenging research, development and innovation project. Consortium members had to take into account mid to long term national policies, appraise macro-economic factors which may impact infrastructure development up to 2050, assess the effects of Electricity Highway Systems (EHS) on the electric architecture of Member States and the integration to the internal energy market (IEM) and make proposals acceptable for stakeholders.

What is the scope of ENTSO-E’s involvement?

ENTSO-E and 15 member TSOs were involved at all stages of the e-Highway2050 project.

The basis on which the e-Highway2050 project was developed is ENTSO-E’s Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) and the North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI).

The TYNDP is published by ENTSO-E biennially and aims at increasing information and transparency regarding the investments in electricity transmission systems at a pan-European level. The NSCOGI provides a framework for TSO regional cooperation to find common solutions to questions related to current and possible future grid infrastructure developments in the North Seas until 2030.

What happens after the e-Highway2050 project is completed in December 2015?

ENTSO-E and member TSOs are looking at opportunities to continue develop a common ENTSO-E position with regard to Electric Highways beyond 2015 and to structure the process for future grid development.

In practice, the ENTSO-E 2050 Electricity Highways Working Group will further elaborate the process proposal presented on “Electricity Highway related follow-up actions”. The objective of the process is to define a transparent ENTSO-E Roadmap of Electricity Highways post e-highway2050 related activities by mid-2015. In addition it will provide a gap analysis as compared to ENTSO-E’s approach and enhance the internalisation of new methods, tools and models into the work of ENTSO-E’s System Development Committee, namely relating to TYNDP and System Adequacy and Market Modelling Working Group.

For more information please contact ENTSO-E