Your browser does not support JavaScript!

Optimising the European transmission system for 77% renewable electricity by 2030

Optimising the European transmission system for 77% renewable electricity by 2030

For access to this article, please select a purchase option:

Buy article PDF
(plus tax if applicable)
Buy Knowledge Pack
10 articles for $120.00
(plus taxes if applicable)

IET members benefit from discounts to all IET publications and free access to E&T Magazine. If you are an IET member, log in to your account and the discounts will automatically be applied.

Learn more about IET membership 

Recommend Title Publication to library

You must fill out fields marked with: *

Librarian details
Your details
Why are you recommending this title?
Select reason:
IET Renewable Power Generation — Recommend this title to your library

Thank you

Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

To spur Europe to meet ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets, Greenpeace has developed scenarios for each country to increase its electricity generation from renewable sources. Energynautics was commissioned by Greenpeace to model and optimise the grid extensions in Europe necessary to integrate these large shares of renewables (77% of the total electricity supply by 2030, including 53% from wind and solar). The results and further analysis of the data are presented here. It was found that by preferring high voltage direct current rather than alternating current network extensions, the overall grid upgrades in Europe (measured as the length of new transmission lines) can be reduced by a third. By allowing a small amount of curtailment of variable renewable sources, a disproportionately large number of the necessary grid extensions can be avoided. In addition, the accuracy of decoupling active from reactive power flows is analysed.


    1. 1)
      • 8. Schaber, K., Steinke, F., Mühlich, P., et al: ‘Parametric study of variable renewable energy integration in Europe: advantages and costs of transmission grid extensions’, Energy Policy, 2012, 42, pp. 298508, available at
    2. 2)
      • 20. Ahlhaus, P., Stursberg, P.: ‘Transmission capacity expansion: an improved transport model’. 2013 4th IEEE/PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe (ISGT EUROPE), 2013, pp. 15.
    3. 3)
      • 13. Prandtl, L.: ‘The mechanics of viscous flows’ (Springer, Berlin, 1935), vol. 3, pp. 34208.
    4. 4)
    5. 5)
    6. 6)
      • 14. European Wind Energy Association: ‘TradeWind: Integrating Wind: Developing Europe's power market for the large-scale integration of wind power’. Technical Report, 2009.
    7. 7)
      • 31. European Regulators’ Group for Electricity and Gas: ‘Treatment of Losses by Network Operators: ERGEG Position Paper for public consultation’, link to pdf, 2008.
    8. 8)
      • 1. Greenpeace International: ‘Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook’, available at
    9. 9)
      • 28. Background outlines of Europe comes from Natural Earth, free vector and raster map data at
    10. 10)
      • 12. National Center for Environmental Predictions (NCEP): ‘NCEP-DOE Reanalysis 2’, 2013. Data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their Web site at
    11. 11)
    12. 12)
      • 24. Grainger, J.J., Stevenson, W.D.: ‘Power system analysis’ (McGraw-Hill, New York, 2014).
    13. 13)
      • 22. Egerer, J., Lorenz, C., Gerbaulet, C.: ‘European electricity grid infrastructure expansion in a 2050 context’. 10th Int. Conf. on the European Energy Market, 2013.
    14. 14)
      • 2. Greenpeace International, EREC: ‘Renewables 24/7 Infrastructure Needed to Save the Climate’, available at, 2009.
    15. 15)
      • 11. ENTSO-E: ‘Ten Year Network Development Plan 2012’. Technical Report, European Network of Transmission System Operators for ElectricitywNTSO-E), 2012.
    16. 16)
      • 6. Teske, S., Brown, T., Tröster, E., et al: ‘powE[R] 2030: A European Grid for 3/4 Renewable Electricity by 2030’, available at, 2014.
    17. 17)
    18. 18)
      • 15. HelioClim Insolation Database, 2013.
    19. 19)
    20. 20)
    21. 21)
    22. 22)
    23. 23)
      • 3. Tröster, E., Kuwahata, R., Thomas Ackermann, T.: ‘European Grid Study 2030/2050’, available at, 2011.
    24. 24)
    25. 25)
      • 30. Siemens: ‘UHVDC Transmission System: Benefits’, available at, 2011.
    26. 26)
      • 27. Brown, T., Cherevatskiy, S., Tröster, E.: ‘Transporting renewables: systematic planning for long-distance HVDC lines’, presented at EWEA 2013 in Vienna.
    27. 27)
    28. 28)
    29. 29)
      • 10. Papaemmanouil, A., Tuan, L.A., Andersson, G., et al: ‘A cost-benefit analysis of transmission network reinforcement driven by generation capacity expansion’. Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2010, pp. 18.
    30. 30)
      • 4. Huber, M., Dorfner, J., Hamacher, T.: ‘Electricity system optimization in the EUMENA region’, Munich, 2012, available at
    31. 31)
      • 7. Czisch, G.: ‘Szenarien zur zukünftigen Stromversorgung’ (Universität Kassel, 2005).

Related content

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address