EU’s 584 Bilion Plan to Revamp Grids for Renewable Energy BoomEnergy Surge

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The European Commission has announced an impactful 14-point Action Plan for Grids, designed to modernize Europe’s electricity grid and gear up for an energy system predominantly based on renewable sources. The plan highlights the need for €584 billion in new investments by 2030 to upgrade the continent’s grids, addressing the pressing challenge as the current grid struggles to accommodate the increasing demand for renewable energy connections.

Key Points of the Action Plan:

  1. Addressing Grid Connection Delays:
    • The plan targets one of the main bottlenecks in wind energy expansion: delayed grid connections. It aims to rectify structural issues and urgently address long grid connection queues.
  2. Reinforcement of Network Planning:
    • Emphasizing the importance of long-term planning, the plan mandates ENTSO-E to identify requirements for onshore and offshore grids, including aspects of storage, optimization, and hydrogen infrastructure. This approach ensures comprehensive top-down planning and improved coordination at both EU and national levels.
  3. Anticipatory Investments and Cost Sharing:
    • The focus on anticipatory investments aligns with the ongoing Electricity Market Design reform. The plan introduces guiding principles for these investments and cross-border cost-sharing for offshore projects, crucial given the long lead times for grid projects.
  4. European Investment Bank (EIB) Involvement:
    • The EIB will play a vital role in identifying financing tools to support grid investments, including offering counter-guarantees for large infrastructure projects.
  5. Supply Chain Standardization:
    • The Commission aims to standardize the supply chain for grid equipment, such as substations, transformers, and cables, by aligning product specifications by the end of 2024. This effort requires close cooperation with grid technology manufacturers and stakeholders, and TSOs will be incentivized to procure standardized equipment.
  6. Improving Grid Capacity Visibility:
    • ENTSO-E and the EU DSO Entity will establish harmonized definitions for available grid hosting capacity, addressing the urgent need to manage the growing queues of renewable projects awaiting grid connection.
  7. Prioritizing Strategic Projects:
    • The Commission advocates for prioritizing mature, strategic projects in grid connection requests, moving away from the “first come, first served” approach. This change will ensure that speculative projects do not hinder more viable ones.

More info here: on Wind Europe

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