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A conceptual framework for the evolution of the operation and regulation of electricity transmission systems towards a decarbonised and increasingly integrated electricity system in the EU

November 2015

FSR Research Report

Co-authors: Jean-Michel Glachant, Jorge Vasconcelos.

The electricity industry is undergoing major changes mainly dictated by the need to simultaneously accomplish integration of European energy markets and build a low‐carbon economy. This process was facilitated if not initiated by a wave of technological innovation. The EU power transmission enters a brand new world which has not been foreseen by the former three “single energy market” packages.

This report offers you a conceptual framework to understand where the European power system and transmission networks are going to and what are the biggest challenges and alternatives for the EU power regulation and governance. It is not pushing any roadmap or blueprint. It offers “food for thought”: knowledge frames to understand how the power landscape moves. Up to decision makers and stakeholders to draw the actual future that EU deserves and will get.

Our research report provides:

  • An analysis of how “European Integration”, “Low-Carbon Target” and “Wave of Innovation” shake up the EU power system and transmission industry,
  • Three conceptual scenarios of evolution being: #1# Full European Market Integration; #2# National only Low Carbon System & Policy; #3# Local only Low Carbon System & Policy,
  • A detailed application of these scenarios to the core tasks performed by a typical EU TSO: Hardware tasks (as network planning and investment) and Software tasks (as balancing, congestion, cross-border exchange, market facilitation, relationships with DSOs or NRAs, etc.),
  • A fourth scenario being “Hybrid” where Low-Carbon Target and Wave of Innovation co-exist at three levels (European, National and Local) but with a substantial regulatory gap if the current frame is not updated,
  • A set of check-points to build an EU multi-layer coordination frame and make our power system transition to a European Low-Carbon System coherent, efficient and resilient enough to succeed.
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