Electricity Interconnection

The Role of Cross-Border Transmission in The European Transition to Net Zero

Energy & Utilities | Economic Consulting

February 3, 2021

Aeolienne

Many European countries have expressed an ambition to pursue a “green recovery” strategy to achieve Net Zero emissions targets by 2050.

These strategies are underpinned by a fundamental transition in the electricity generation mix towards low-carbon and mostly renewable and intermittent generation. However, a rapid deployment of non-dispatchable renewables can pose significant challenges to the need to continuously balance supply and demand for electricity.

To mitigate these challenges, additional sources of flexibility – either to increase supply or reduce demand – will be increasingly required to help balance the system. Interconnectors are widely recognised to play a critical role in providing such flexibility over the long term. In this report, we survey recent announcements and publications and examine the contribution that electricity interconnectors are likely to play in the transition to Net Zero. We also examine how electricity interconnectors help address the ‘energy trilemma’ of improving security of supply, reducing costs of meeting demand and reducing carbon emissions.

The “green recovery” strategies put forward by many European countries are underpinned by a fundamental transition in the electricity generation mix towards low-carbon and mostly renewable and intermittent generation. Such a rapid deployment of intermittent renewables needs to be accompanied by the development of additional sources of flexibility to help balance the electricity systems.

FTI Consulting has been commissioned to review the role that interconnectors are expected to play in providing such flexibility over the long term and to survey the recent evidence, announcements and publications on the contribution that electricity interconnectors are expected to make towards the transition to Net Zero. In this report we also document the critical role electricity interconnectors play in addressing the ‘energy trilemma’ of improving security of supply, reducing costs of meeting demand and reducing carbon emissions.


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