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Coordinated Network Planning at European Level

Besides the grid upgrades required in various countries, in view of the integration of wind power, there is also the need for a coordinated effort in network planning at the European level. At higher wind energy penetration levels, cross-border power flow will increase, which:

  • Reduces wind power variability;
  • Improves the predictability of wind power;
  • Reduces balancing costs;
  • Increases wind energy’s contribution to the generation adequacy.

However, this increased cross-border flow increases the need for coordinated network planning and common technical regulations. In this respect, there are several relevant initiatives and developments:

  • The TEN-E programme (Trans European Networks for Electricity) was set up to promote the improvement of interconnection in Europe. Coordinated by the European Commission (DG TREN), TEN-E focuses on those network aspects that improve electricity trade within Europe. Several bottlenecks in the transmission system have been identified by TEN-E as projects of European interest. Despite the launch of this programme, and with a few exceptions, there has been little progress in increasing interconnection capacity. In 2007, as part of the measures proposed in the Priority Interconnection Plan of the European Energy Policy, a specific European Coordinator was appointed by the European Commission with the mandate to mediate in the interconnection projects required to enable the integration of wind power in Northern Europe.
  • As recommended in the Third Energy Package in 2008, the European Transmission Operators founded a new organisation, the European Network of Transmission System Operatorsfor Energy (ENTSO-E ), with the aim of improving the coordination of their operations. Another Third Package requirement is the obligation for joint TSOs to publish a transmission development plan (UCTE, 2008) on a regular basis.
  • Within the EWIS study (FP6), The European TSOs are currently examining the technical and market aspects that will arise from wind power integration (time horizon 2015) in the European transmission system. This should result in recommendations for transmission planning at European level. The TradeWind project coordinated by EWEA, which runs in parallel with EWIS, will provide recommendations for interconnection and power market improvements with a time horizon of up to 2030, at which point, 300 GW of wind power is expected to be integrated in Europe. Having established a common platform for the exchange of information and findings, both EWIS and TradeWind will provide quantitative input for coordinated transmission planning for the future of wind power.
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