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Infrastructure Roadmap for Energy Networks in Europe

Analysis and Scenarios of Energy Infrastructure Evolution

Project – Mission statement


“Identify the strategies for investors and
regulators enabling a more secure,
ecologically sustainable and competitive
European electricity system”




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The mature and ageing EU electricity transmission and electrical power system infrastructure is starting to show decreased security margins; the European Commission acknowledges and foresees a need for active innovative solutions´ implementation to cope herewith and address such.


Roads towards a sustainable, secure and
cost efficient future power grid are
impacted by today's actions; i.e.
investment decisions made now define
system aspects in the next 40 years.

The image below symbolizes this: network
invest €´s „tumble down“ and lack of
confidence for investment makes „for a
reduced amount of €´s to have a fully
developed and healthy market meeting
it´s overall objectives“.


More Details on:         Project objectives

The IRENE-40 project has been devised to meet the following research needs:

  • Development of a credible vision for technology, infrastructure and policy development to inform stakeholders and investors.

  • Tackle the challenge of utilising latent capacity in infrastructure across national networks without compromising system security and operation and maximising power trading opportunities.

  • Realisation of interconnection strategies between member states to create a single pan-European grid, including harmonisation of technical standards and development of new markets for cross-border trade.

  • Provision guidance and a coordinated strategy for development and investment against a backdrop of uncertainty.

  • Many emerging technologies are approaching readiness for use within networks. There is a need to define general deployment strategies as well as methods to assess these from a system perspective.

  • Technical countermeasures are required to alleviate risks and to increase ecological sustainability, security and competitiveness of electrical energy systems.

The daily operation of Europe's electricity system is increasingly threatened by the risks of blackouts or component failures with wide-reaching impact. Recent disturbances led UCTE to recognise the challenge in operating Europe's transmission system in the context of increasing traded power volumes. According to UCTE the changing generation mix will contribute to upcoming congestion situations, resulting in a limitation in possible exports. The Commission's Priority Interconnection Plan also points out the danger arising from the operation of networks closer to their physical limits. The Smart Grids European Technology Platform has listed several enabling technologies for electrical power systems of the future. The need for agreement on a strategy to fulfil the vision of the SmartGrids technology platform is stressed in its vision and strategy document. New strategies for network development will be needed as the generation mix towards carbon dioxide neutral energy sources. Finally, it is observed that current markets do not encourage transmission investments and that a coordination boost will be necessary. The goal set by the Commission in the Green Paper on Energy is to create a single pan-European grid. Eurelectric identified major uncertainties and the potential need for guidance by the regulators in network development in their report on ensuring investments. IRENE-40 is responding to these calls for action to build a more secure, ecologically sustainable and competitive European electricity system.