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26 years after the Single European Act - are we any closer to a single electricity market? T&D developments market activity or political issue?
The structure of the electricity system is changing fast. Rapid deployment of renewables, the needs to decarbonise European activities and the aging electricity system infrastructure present a significant and growing challenge to transmission and distribution systems across Europe.
A particularly thorny issue is renewable generation, which is developing at a much faster rate than infrastructure upgrades, resulting in huge productivity losses and rendering investments in renewables expensive and politically vulnerable. In addition, new demands on the grid, such as e-vehicles and electrification of heat, ask for more robust and sophisticated electricity networks, able to communicate in real time along its many nodes and faultlessly manage peak loads, while managing demand and supply.
If decarbonisation and smart grid are serious on governments’ and utilities’ agendas, they need to invest in infrastructure and open up domestic borders into a single interconnected market, which will spur cross-border trade and revive competition.
As such strategic directions are set by legislative frameworks, the markets and the compelling need for investment; getting T&D strategies right now will facilitate the long overdue changes the sector needs over the next couple of decades.
Moderator: Albert Cheung, Head of Energy Smart Technologies, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, UK