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European Commission sets out actions to accelerate the roll-out of electricity grids

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European Commission sets out actions to accelerate the roll-out of electricity grids

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Interconnected and stable energy networks are the backbone of the EU internal energy market and key to enable the green transition. To help deliver the European Green Deal the Commission has proposed an Action Plan to make sure our electricity grids will operate more efficiently and will be rolled out further and faster. The Commission has already put in place a supportive legal framework for the rollout of electricity grids across Europe. With the EU markets fully integrated, a modernised infrastructure network will ensure citizens and business can benefit from cheaper and cleaner energy.

Electricity consumption in the EU is expected to increase by around 60% between now and 2030. Networks will have to accommodate a more digitalised, decentralised and flexible system with millions of rooftop solar panels, heat pumps and local energy communities sharing their resources, more offshore renewables coming online, more electric vehicles to charge, and growing hydrogen production needs. With 40% of our distribution grids more than 40 years old and cross-border transmission capacity due to double by 2030, €584 billion in investments are necessary.

An Action Plan to address the missing links of the clean energy transition

The Action Plan aims to address the main challenges in expanding, digitalising and better using EU electricity transmission and distribution grids. It identifies concrete and tailor-made actions to help unlock the needed investment to get European electricity grids up to speed. The actions focus on implementation and swift delivery to make a difference in time for our 2030 objectives:

  • Accelerating the implementation of Projects of Common Interest and developing new projects through political steering, reinforced monitoring and more proposals;
  • Improving the long-term planning of grids to accommodate more renewables and electrified demand, including hydrogen, in the energy system by steering the work of system operators as well as national regulators;
  • Introducing regulatory incentives through guidance on anticipatory, forward-looking investments and on cross-border cost sharing for offshore projects;
  • Incentivising a better usage of the grids with enhanced transparency and improved network tariffs for smarter grids, efficiency, and innovative technologies and solutions by supporting the cooperation between system operators and recommendations by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER);
  • Improving access to finance for grids projects by increasing visibility on opportunities for EU funding programmes, especially for smart grids and modernisation of distribution grids;
  • Stimulating faster permitting for grids deployment by providing technical support for authorities and guidance on better engaging stakeholders and communities;
  • Improving and securing grid supply chains, including by harmonising industry manufacturing requirements for generation and demand connection.


Source: EC