93 gigawatt additional electricity exchange needed by 2040


The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO) says an additional 93 gigawatt cross-border electricity exchange capacity is needed to address the energy transition in 2040. Although annual investments in network capacity varies from 1.3 billion to 3.4 billion euro, they avoid annual generation costs of 4 to 10 billion euro.

ENTSO-E’s System Needs study shows borders or areas where new solutions for electricity exchange are needed to reach climate neutrality. While keeping security and costs under control. Beyond the next wave of anticipated cross-border grid investment (35 gigawatt by 2025), needs have been identified everywhere in Europe. With a total of 50 gigawatt of needs on close to 40 borders in 2030 and 43 additional gigawatt on more than 55 borders in 2040.

Addressing system needs puts Europe on track to realize the Green Deal. With 110 terawatt hour of curtailed energy and 53 megatons of CO2 emissions avoided each year until 2040, market integration would progress. With price convergence increasing between bidding zones thanks to an additional 467 terawatt hour a year of cross border exchanges by 2040. Investing 1.3 billion euro a year between 2025 and 2030 translates into a decrease of annual generation costs of 4 billion euro. While investing 3.4 billion a year between 2025 and 2040 decreases generation costs by 10 billion a year. Addressing the identified needs by 2040 would represent 45 billion euro of investment. Translating directly into jobs and growth for Europe.

System of systems

All solutions should be considered to address the identified needs. Such as increased transmission capacity, storage, hybrid offshore infrastructure, smart grids and Power to X. As a next step in its Ten-Year Network Development Plan 2020, ENTSO-E will run a cost-benefit analysis of 171 transmission and storage projects. And will evaluate how they contribute to meeting the system needs. In the future, coordinated planning will be required across sectors, considering electricity and gas but also transport and heat, to turn needs into concrete projects. As a first step ENTSO-E has released a roadmap for coordinated multi-sectorial planning of infrastructure.

New projects required

Electricity transmission projects currently under conception or development address only about 43 gigawatt of the 93 gigawatt of needs identified between 2025 and 2040. Results of the System needs study will lead to a development of new projects addressing newly identified needs. To consider these projects already in the TYNDP 2020, ENTSO-E is opening a second project-submission window. Targeting projects commissioning after 2035 and addressing identified system needs.


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