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Fit for 55: Matching climate neutrality ambition with energy infrastructure needs

Time is running out on the EU’s ability to achieve its ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Bold and decisive action is required in policy and infrastructure. T&D Europe welcomes the Commission’s proposals to align the main EU energy legislation to reach the ambitious 55% emission reduction in 2030. At the same time the EU needs to invest in the electricity networks, the backbone of Europe’s energy system.

In order to attain the -55% goal, we must closely look at how we produce, transport, distribute and use energy. This means that not only the generation sector has to undergo a fundamental transformation, but that we also need to future-proof the European transmission and distribution network and improve its efficiency by modernizing its operation. At the same time, it remains essential to maintain the grid infrastructure resilience by ensuring the quality of service and the continuity of supply under different circumstances.

The Fit for 55 package is a fundamental pillar to match the climate neutrality ambition with the infrastructure needs on the ground - System efficiency and distributed clean energy generation being at the core of the change.

These two aspects are encompassed in particular by the emergence of demand-side flexibility which has significant potential to improve the energy-wide system efficiency and contribute to its decarbonisation. Flexibility from all end-use sectors supports system integration and helps stabilise an increasingly variable power system based on renewable energy.

However, to make demand-side flexibility a reality, a lot of work must be done upstream in the transmission and distribution system. In particular, innovative smart grids technology have to be deployed extensively to free the flow of data and allow monitoring and control of the operations.

The Clean Energy Package was a big step ahead for the energy system transformation. The Fit for 55 review is the opportunity to deepen Europe’s commitment to decarbonise its economy and prepare its energy infrastructure for the future.

Read the full statement including recommendations on specific legislation in our publications section here.