The European Network Development Plan is published every second year by the European Network of Transmission Systems Operators (ENTSO-E), where Statnett is the Norwegian representative. The purpose of the plan is to coordinate the planning of the European power system, with particular emphasis on future security of supply and the achievement of climate targets.

You can read the version of the European Network Development Plan submitted for public consultation on the ENTSO-E website. The deadline for consultative comments on the plan is 21 September.

In the European Network Development Plan, projects of European importance (Projects of Common Interest – PCI) are evaluated using various scenarios that look at profitability, how they contribute to security of supply and the extent to which they contribute to achieving climate policy objectives. Statnett’s two ongoing cable projects to Germany (NordLink) and to the United Kingdom (North Sea Link) have demonstrated satisfactory profitability in line with previous estimates. By 2030, it is estimated that each of the Norwegian cables will have helped reduce annual CO2 emissions from the European power system by up to 1 million tonnes.

The European plan still requires a major expansion of renewable power production combined with an increase in the phasing out of both nuclear and coal power. The analyses illustrate the potential importance of higher CO2 prices in order to achieve climate targets, and highlights the significance of the interconnectors currently being built from Norway to Germany and the United Kingdom.

One of the most important drivers of future grid development in Europe is for renewable power production without particular flexibility to replace flexible thermal power production. This leads to an increased need for regulability. The expansion of transmission capacity to the Nordic countries will allow the systems on the continent access to the inherent flexibility of the hydropower system. The analyses also show that the most important drivers of Nordic system development are an increase in capacity between the Nordic synchronous area and surrounding systems, facilitation of wind power, the phasing out of nuclear power and broader integration of the Baltic market.