CICERO - Center for International Climate Research

Integration of Power Transmission Grids

The primary objective of this project is to generate new knowledge about the institutional, technological, and economical, challenges related to the transformation of transmission power grids across Europe to make way for greater energy systems integration that, in turn, can facilitate longterm, sustainable restructuring of European countries' energy systems, efficient use of renewable energy sources, power system flexibility, and further increasing the shares of renewable energy. This new knowledge is useful for informing decision makers in policy and industry in a time of farreaching change in European power systems.

As Europe's energy transition moves towards increasingly higher shares of variable renewable energy, there is a growing need for conjointly transforming the electricity transmission grid. This transformation includes grid expansion, e.g. for connecting offshore wind parks or entire national grids, but also the development of new transmission technologies. For Norway, further European integration of power transmission is of particular importance for efficient use of the country's vast renewable energy sources and marketing them in the European electricity market, and thus for long-term value creation.

It is widely agreed that transmission infrastructure policy, investment and transformation are significantly lagging behind changes in electricity supply across Europe, and that this tension between interdependent domains threatens to constrain the energy transition. Key challenges include coordination across different countries and actors, ill-aligned regulatory regimes, lack of industry competences and systemic uncertainties.

Technological developments in the field of power transmission are confronted with national (Norway, UK, Germany) and European level studies on (transmission) policy regimes and in-depth analyses of industry actors. To provide a better understanding of these particular challenges and the energy transition in general, the project applies a multi-disciplinary approach, combining analytical frameworks from innovation system and transition studies with concepts from political sciences and industry analyses.