Skip to main content

Build the future power system

The power system is undergoing profound changes. Renewables are replacing thermal, demand-side response and storage provide a new dynamic, and digitalisation influences the entire electric value chain. ENTSO-E aims at providing leadership for the future power system, by contributing its vision of market design and operations, grid planning and development with the TYNDP, supporting innovation and, in the short term, ensuring system adequacy in accordance with the new mandates set in the Clean Energy Package.

Upon its creation in 2009, Regulation 714/2009 tasked ENTSO-E with elaborating a pan-European network development plan, or TYNDP. The TYNDP package includes scenarios, system needs assessment reports including regional investment plans, the TYNDP report itself and the Mid-Term Adequacy Forecast.

Additionally, in 2013, Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure made the TYNDP the basis for the selection of European projects of common interest. It also mandated that ENTSO-E develop a cost-benefit methodology for the assessment of transmission infrastructure projects.

Imagine and model future system scenarios

To understand what new investments or measures would be the most effective moving forward, it is first necessary to define scenarios that depict the energy system that the EU is striving to achieve.

2018 scenarios

The 2018 edition of the scenarios was developed jointly with the European network of TSOs for gas, ENTSOG. This joint gas and electricity approach enables a more integrated view of the electricity system and will in time improve our understanding of how infrastructure in both energies impact one another.

The scenarios outline three markedly different paths towards the achievement of a low-carbon energy system in line with EU targets. They are complemented, for the horizon 2030, by an additional perspective based on the European Commission EUCO30 policy scenario.

Key dates & documents

30 Mar 2018

Publication of the ENTSOs 2018 scenarios report, its annexes on country results and methodology and ENTSO-E’s datasets

18 Oct 2018

ACER Opinion

The scenarios were released, for the first time, separately from the TYNDP 2018 report and were the subject of a formal Opinion from ACER. Overall, ACER finds that the Scenario 2018 Report’s contribution to meeting the objectives of Regulations (EC) No 714/2009 and No 715/2009, concerning the efficient functioning of the market and non-discrimination is rather weak, and notes several shortcomings with regard to, for example, the transparency of the datasets and the length of the scenario development process.

Scenario building framework

Figure 6: The scenario building framework for TYNDP 2018. Renewable Energy Systems (RES) share of demand for electricity and gas

ENTSOs scenarios & the EU’s climate targets

Elaborated between 2016 and 2018, the 2018 scenarios are in line with the EU’s targets for 2030 set by the European Council in 2014, of 27 % share of RES, 27 % improvement in energy efficiency (30 % for the EUCO scenario) and 40 % GHG emission reduction.

The targets for RES and energy efficiency were revised in 2018, to 32 % and 32,5 % respectively. These new targets will be considered in the 2020 edition of the scenarios.

In addition, on 24 December 2018, the Regulation on the governance of the Energy Union and climate action, part of the Clean Energy Package, entered into force. This Regulation requires Member States to develop National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), that will set each Member States’ contribution to meeting the EU’s climate targets. ENTSO-E intends to align the 2020 scenarios with the NECPs as much as possible.

The Scenarios at COP24

ENTSO-E presented the 2018 scenarios, along with the new publication PowerFacts Europe, at the COP24 in December 2018 at two joint events, with the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA and with the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) and ENTSOG.

The planning of the grid infrastructure needs to reflect the decarbonisation requirements, to ensure that the Paris Agreement will be implemented. The ENTSOs and RGI have initiated a project with the objective that at least one of the scenarios used in future TYNDPs will be compliant with the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Building the storylines for the 2020 scenarios

The storylines form the basis of the scenarios. They are developed to capture multiple trajectories that illustrate plausible pathways to achieve a low carbon, affordable, and secure energy system for Europe.

Five storylines were proposed in 2018, covering a wide range of possible futures in different time horizons. The draft storylines are developed jointly with ENTSOG.

The draft storylines were submitted to stakeholders’ comments in the summer of 2018, and the final set of scenario storylines for the TYNDP 2020 will be proposed by the ENTSOs in the spring of 2019. The draft scenarios will follow in the second half of 2019. Not all storylines will become an actual scenario.

Key dates & documents

28 May 2018

Public workshop

2 July – 14 Sept

Public consultation on the draft TYNDP 2020 scenario building storylines

The Five Draft Storylines

National trends
National focus on climate change, driven by ETS and national subsidies. Moderate economic growth. Growth of RES depends on national policies.

Global ambition – Sustainable growth.
Global emission trading. Low-carbon technologies are competitive without subsidies. Wind and solar become leading sources of electricity. Carbon-free gas (P2G) replaces fossil gas

European focus – Favourable economic environment.
Global emissions scheme. RES is built on commercial conditions. RES is built where the best resources are found. High growth of P2G and Bio Methane

Distributed energy – High economic growth.
High innovation of small-scale generation and commercial storage. Strong climate policy. Electricity and renewable gases covering residential heating demand.

Delayed transition – Behind targets.
Low economic growth. Low climate action and limited national subsidies. Low potential for growth of renewable technologies. Gas and oil significant in the shipping and heavy good transport sectors, oil and hybrid technologies for transport.

Plan the grid of tomorrow

The TYNDP is a pan-European network development plan that provides a long-term vision of the power system. Published by ENTSO-E every two years, it is the foundation of Europe’s grid planning and the basis for transmission projects that are eligible to be labelled ‘projects of common interest’ (PCI).

The TYNDP aims to provide a benchmark for transmission network development (scenarios, system needs, development solutions, and project assessment). It is developed over a two-year timeframe, including an assessment of the power system’s needs and the development of regional investment plans, in addition to the development of the storylines and scenarios described previously.

Europe Power System 2040: completing the map

Released in early 2018, ‘Europe power system 2040: completing the map’ presents, for the first time, a pan-European analysis of future system investment needs. It shows future capacity needs for the three 2040 scenarios of the TYNDP 2018 and indicates where grid projects should be considered. Most importantly, the report analyses the ‘cost of no-grid’, that is the costs – financial, environmental and in terms of electricity security of supply – of not investing in the power networks.

The findings indicate that the benefits for Europeans of doing the right investments in the right places, with the right technologies and regulations, far outweigh the efforts needed in the next decades for the system’s update.

Released alongside Europe power system 2040, the six regional investment plans examine the system’s needs from a regional perspective, thus accounting for regional specificities.

The TYNDP 2018

Based on the scenarios and pan-European and regional system needs assessment, the TYNDP identifies the most relevant infrastructure projects for Europe. It provides a foundation upon which to compare European projects through a series of indicators.

The TYNDP 2018 tests how 166 transmission projects and 13 storage projects respond to the 2025 and 2030 scenarios. These projects would allow € 2 bn to € 5 bn annual savings in generation costs, while cutting CO₂ emissions by  65 to 75 % compared to the 1990 levels.

Following a public consultation period, wherein 27 organisations provided comments, the TYNDP 2018 package was edited to accommodate some of these comments.

Notable changes include the addition of a new document explaining how the CBA was followed by ENTSO-E. Comments dealing with methodological points, scenarios, or other structural elements of the TYNDP will be addressed in future TYNDPs.

The draft TYNDP 2018 was published and submitted to ACER with a delay in November 2018. The delay was due to unforeseen difficulties in calculating losses, following a change in the calculation process.

The TYNDP 2018 package will only be final after publication of ACER’s Opinion.

Key dates & documents

3 Aug – 21 Sept 2018

Public consultation on the draft TYNDP 2018

28 Nov 2018

Submission to ACER of the draft TYNDP 2018 main report, insight reports, datasets and project sheets

Other stakeholders involvement activities throughout 2018
14 MayTYNDP 2018 Project Promoters Workshop on Project Sheets finalization (Brussels)
17 MayENTSO-E and ENTSOG joint workshop on inter linkage between gas and electricity scenarios and infrastructure projects assessment (Brussels)
18 MayTYNDP 2018 Project Promoters Workshop on Project Sheets finalization (Rome)
23 MayTYNDP 2018 Project Promoters Workshop on Project Sheets finalization (Berlin)
29 MayENTSOs for gas and electricity: TYNDP 2020 scenario development workshop (Brussels)
14 NovConnecting Europe: Electricity Future(s) 2020 – 2040 MAF & TYNDP 2018 launch event (Brussels)
21 NovENTSO-E and ENTSOG Webinar on scenario development process update

The next cost-benefit analysis methodology

Infrastructure and storage projects are assessed in the TYNDP using a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) methodology drafted by ENTSO-E, in consultation with stakeholders, and subsequently submitted to the European Commission for approval. The CBA results are also used by the European Commission to select the European projects of common interest (PCI).In September 2018, the European Commission approved the CBA 2.0 proposed by ENTSO-E. Throughout 2017 and 2018, ENTSO-E started developing a third version of the CBA methodology, to improve on the previous versions specifically in regard to security of supply, socio-economic welfare and storage.

Key dates & documents

27 Sept 2018

European Commission approved the 2nd ENTSO-E Guideline for cost-benefit analysis of grid development projects

18 Dec 2018

Workshop with stakeholders on the draft CBA 3.0

Studies on the link between gas and electricity

The gas and electricity sectors are both impacted by the transition towards decarbonisation; developments in one sector can affect the other. Interlinkages stretch from household energy use to electricity production and storage, as well as infrastructure. What are the potential economies of scale, and what are the risks of increased links between those two network-bound energies?

In addition to the joint work on scenarios previously described, ENTSO-E and ENTSOG have also been investigating the interlinkage between gas and electricity scenarios and infrastructure project assessments with a joint focus study, examining all possible interactions between the gas and electricity sectors (including on the end-user side, or interactions related to electricity and gas prices), and exploring relevant gas and electricity infrastructure interactions. The study is supported by an ad hoc group of committed stakeholders representing European organisations. It is foreseen to be concluded by mid 2019.

Ensure system adequacy

Assessing system adequacy – the ability of a power system to cover demand in all conditions – is one of the TSOs’ tasks, and, consequently, one of ENTSO-E’s most important mandates. Resource adequacy requires advanced methodologies to capture and analyse rare events with adverse consequences for the supply of electric power. ENTSO-E’s yearly adequacy reports examine various time horizons, from the next season to the next decade.

European balancing platforms

To account for a growing number of risks related to the evolution of the energy mix – growing development of renewable energy sources, reduction of conventional power plants, availability of interconnection capacity – Europe needs to regularly assess the adequacy situation, at time horizons of up to ten years ahead. The ‘Mid-term Adequacy Forecast’ (MAF) aims to provide a pan-European adequacy assessment of the risks to security of supply and the need for flexibility for the coming decade.

Art. 8(3)b of Regulation 714/2009 requires ENTSO-E to develop a European generation adequacy outlook every two years, as part of the TYNDP. Released every year, the MAF goes beyond this legal mandate to address new needs identified by the Electricity Coordination Group.³

The MAF is based on a probabilistic analysis, conducted using sophisticated market-modelling tools. Its elaboration involves a large number of assumptions about the future. Therefore, it is important to note that each edition of the MAF should only be seen as a best estimate of future adequacy conditions, based on the information available at the time of its elaboration.

3 The Electricity Coordination Group is a platform for strategic exchanges between Member States, national regulators, ACER, ENTSO-E and the European Commission on electricity policy.

The MAF 2018 highlights the importance of cross-border cooperation in fostering adequacy throughout the pan-European power system. There are complex interdependencies between supply, demand, storage and interconnection capacities.

The MAF 2018 indicates potential adequacy issues and provides specific views highlighting adequacy risks for each country in the different scenarios assessed. Risks of scarcity that were identified concern mainly islands e.g. Cyprus, Malta, Crete and Sicily. A ‘low-carbon’ scenario considers the impact of shutting down generation units by 2025 (representing 23 GW) due to an acceleration of environmental policies, including, for example, a coal phase-out. The results confirm that the decommissioning of polluting generation capacity should be accompanied by the development of the system in different terms e.g. demand-side response, flexibility means including storage, renewable energy sources and interconnections.

The MAF 2018 was submitted to public consultation in the fall of 2018 and submitted to ACER for opinion as part of the TYNDP 2018 package of deliverables. The comments received during the public consultation were not implemented in this edition of the MAF, but will be taken into account when elaborating the MAF 2019.

Key dates & documents

3 Oct – 16 Nov

public consultation on the MAF 2018,
Comments received

28 Nov

Submission of the MAF 2018 to ACER (as part of the TYNDP2018 package)

The Seasonal Outlook reports

ENTSO-E’s winter and summer outlooks are a pan-European, system-wide analysis of risks to electricity security of supply. They present TSOs’ views on the risks to the security of supply and planned countermeasures for the coming season, either individually or in cooperation. The outlooks are elaborated based on the data collected from TSOs and using a common methodology. ENTSO-E analyses the effect on system adequacy of climate conditions, evolution of demand, demand management, evolution of generation capacities, and planned and forced outages.

Each outlook is accompanied by a review of what happened during the previous season, based on relevant qualitative information provided by TSOs. This information is compared to the forecasts and risks foreseen in the corresponding outlook.

The Winter Outlook 2018/2019 found that Europe’s supply of electricity was secured under normal conditions, with a monitoring of the situation needed in case of a cold spell in an area including Belgium, France, Northern–Italy, Central–Northern Italy and Slovenia. The Summer Outlook for 2018 foresaw no expected risk to Europe’s security of supply, even under severe conditions.

Research & Innovation

ENTSO-E’s R&D activities, as legally mandated by Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 and Directive 2009/72/EC, involve promoting and coordinating research, development and innovation activities of TSOs, including monitoring their implementation and their real-life application.

ENTSO-E promotes and coordinates TSOs’ innovation activities in various areas: assets and technologies; security and operations of tomorrow; flexibility and markets; future of energy systems; and digital & communication. Several workshops were organised in 2018 on the above-mentioned issues, with the aim to share the knowledge among different TSOs and to promote common projects or answer to Horizon 2020 calls.

Particular emphasis is currently placed on flexibility (including demand-side response, storage, etc.) and end-to-end digitisation to integrate different technologies and enable new market places and services, with a focus on maximising social welfare through a customer centric approach.

R&D projects and partnerships

ENTSO-E is a partner in several projects awarded by the Horizon 2020 programme, including the following:

  • INTENSYS4EU, jointly developed with the ETIP SNET, aims at supporting the further integration of innovative solutions and at extending the existing R&I roadmaps, through permanent and direct interactions with the impacted stakeholders and EU member states.
  • TDX-Assist aims to design and develop novel ICT tools and techniques that facilitate scalable and secure information systems and data exchange between TSOs and DSOs. Participating TSOs include Eles (Slovenia) and REN (Portugal).
  • Awarded in 2018, and beginning in 2019, the INTERFACE project will design, develop and exploit an Interoperable pan-European Grid Services Architecture to act as the interface between the power system (TSO and DSO) and the customers and allow the seamless and coordinated operation of all stakeholders to use and procure common services. ENTSO-E leads the exploitation, communication and dissemination work package and contributes to the other work packages along with the 42 consortium members.

Additionally, ENTSO-E aims to develop partnerships with like-minded organisations. A memorandum of understanding was signed in May 2018 with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to collaborate on critical research, development and innovation initiatives to modernise the power grid. The cooperation covers next-generation tools and processes for electric grid operations and planning, transmission and distribution system communication and information networks, and information sharing, as well as cyber-security and resilience.

Moreover, ENTSO-E engaged in a cooperation agreement with the European Space Agency and E.DSO. The cooperation will be realised through ESA’s Business Applications programme, which supports the development of new services that use data from space assets. Satellite applications can support power networks in many areas, including: asset management; two-way communication between smart meters and grid operators; prediction of consumption or generation peaks; developing Internet of Things services for smart homes and electric vehicles; and the use of virtual power plants.

R&D state of play: R&D Monitoring report 2018

The 2018 R&D monitoring report, to be released in early 2019, assesses the progress of European TSO-related research and development activities defined in the 2017–2026 Roadmap and highlights key achievements.

The activities proposed in the ENTSO-E Research, development & Innovation Roadmap 2017-2026 support TSOs as key system integrators of different components and technologies, that are necessary to answer societal challenges. TSOs also integrate game-changing factors involving new stakeholders within the electricity market (i. e., digital and flexibility services, active customers, etc.).

R&D ecosystem for innovation

ENTSO-E launched its Business Network for Innovation in October 2018. Innovative business players, start-ups and thought leaders from academia and industry exchange views on the steps that need to be taken for a successful European energy transition. The initiative started with a webinar on the Common Grid Model and will continue into 2019.

In addition, ENTSO-E and E.DSO organised in May 2018 the 7 th edition of InnoGrid2020+. This yearly conference provides a space for TSOs, DSOs and other innovators to showcase their R&D projects and share the results with policymakers and stakeholders alike. The 2018 edition looked at customers, market participants and policy makers’ expectations on what services the electricity system and network should deliver beyond 2020. InnoGrid 2018 also handed out the first Power Network Innovation Award.

Ten innovation actions to deliver the Energy Union

ENTSO-E and E.DSO presented a joint list of 10 innovation actions for a future-proof power system. The proposed actions include putting digitization as a horizontal activity in all R&D activities, adopting an energy-system approach and increasing the research and innovation budget for energy in the future Framework Programme 9, among others.

Building the integrated energy system of the future

The European Technology & Innovation Platforms (ETIPs) were created by the European Commission in the framework of the new Integrated Roadmap Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) by bringing together a multitude of stakeholders and experts from the energy sector. The role of the ETIP Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP SNET) is to guide RD&I to support Europe’s energy transition. ENTSO-E participates in four of the six working groups, covering power system integration, storage technologies and sector interfaces, digitisation, customer participation and innovation implementation.

ENTSO-E participated in the elaboration of the ‘ETIP SNET Vision 2050’, which was released in June 2018. The ‘Vision 2050’ describes a low-carbon, secure, reliable, resilient, accessible, cost-efficient, and market-based pan-European integrated energy system that supplies the whole economy and paves the way for a fully CO₂-neutral and circular economy by the year 2050, while maintaining and extending global industrial leadership in energy systems during the energy transition. The ‘ETIP SNET Vision 2050’ is the basis for defining the specifications for further research and innovation needs in the transition towards Europe’s future energy system.

Improving HVDC system reliability

High-voltage direct current (HVDC) is an increasingly important method for transferring large amounts of electrical power for the pan-European transmission grid. New HVDC connections play a key role in the future development plans of the European transmission grid; high reliability, availability, compatibility and robustness will be essential for the electricity market and system security.

ENTSO-E’s paper highlights the need for HVDC owners, in co-operation with other relevant HVDC stakeholders, to focus on developing HVDC so that the technology and processes (HVDC grid integration studies and maintainability performed by TSOs, with appropriate tools like models and control & protection (C&P) replicas, services and life-cycle aspects) are systematically addressed.


E-mobility has been identified as a topic for innovation, and ENTSO-E organised an internal workshop with TSOs in December 2018 and delivered a video on the topic.


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video


About this annual report

ENTSO-E’s Annual Report is a legally mandated deliverable, submitted to ACER for opinion. In line with ENTSO-E’s key activity areas, it is structured as follows:

1 and 2. Internal Energy Market: this part is divided into activities related to
i) network codes and ii) the future power system;

3. Develop a new ICT approach and capability, including cyber-security;

4. Develop the DSO partnership;

5. Coordinate and facilitate regional developments;

6. Develop transparency and trust, including stakeholder engagement activities.

The resources used to deliver these objectives are detailed in Annex 1.

The activities described in this report were delivered thanks to the collective work of ENTSO-E’s 43 member TSOs and ENTSO-E’s Secretariat based in Brussels.