T&D Europe members are providing electricity networks with technology ensuring the transmission and distribution of electricity in a stable and safe way. Transformers, switchgears, substations and other grid equipment are essential components of the network. With innovation at its core, the T&D sector is striving to adapt its technology to the new challenges of the energy transition. "Better Grids" are using the full potential of digitisation, are interconnecting efficiently the whole EU network and are managed in an energy-efficient manner while guaranteeing the safety of electricity supply to all European consumers.
Digitisation offers a wide range of opportunities to manage the electricity grid in a more efficient way for producers and consumers. It offers a series of solutions to accommodate a large amount, and a high proportion, of volatile resources such as renewable energies (PV, wind, etc), prosumers and Demand Response. T&D Europe is playing an active role in digitisation and is increasing its activity in this direction, both in terms of technical developments and for standardisation and cybersecurity. In this regard, it is important that harmonized standard of cybersecurity are put in place to safeguard the essential energy infrastructures of Europe.
The EU has set a 15% interconnection target by 2030, meaning that the Member states need to ensure that 15% of the electricity they produced can be transported across the border to a neighbouring country. The Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) has established processes to define transmission grid requirements. However, important bottlenecks are not necessarily on the borders of the member states but occur also within states. The adequacy of the network infrastructure is not limited to the transmission level and nothing comparable is available on distribution level today. This calls for a more holistic view of the networks.
Rapid technological development could impact strongly on future network requirements, eg. PV, batteries, Demand Response technologies. The challenge is to reconcile these uncertainties with the need to define, build and maintain an infrastructure with long life cycles and deployment times.
There is a high potential for energy savings in the transmission & distribution of electricity. In the European Union, losses on the network are ranging from 4% to 17% depending of the country. The reasons for those losses are ageing electricity infrastructure such as non-energy-efficient transformers and old cable lines, but also a lack of optimization of the network.
Thanks to technological innovations, it is possible to provide perfect efficiency in transmission and distribution networks with network self-healing solutions to save energy and enhance power quality. Network reconfiguration solutions, voltage control, and load balancing lead to higher energy efficiency by reducing losses.