Electricity Grids Chapter of the 2009 Technology Map of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)

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EUR 24117 EN
Publications Office of the European Union

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PREAMBLE TO THE REPORT "2009 Technology Map of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)"

In 2007, the SET-Plan Technology Map was published by the JRC to underpin the Communication from the Commission that established the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). The Technology Map contributed to the identification of the SET-Plan technology priorities, i.e. the technologies with the greatest potential to contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy. The 2009 update of the Technology Map, prepared by the SET-Plan Information System (SETIS), responds to the need for updated information on low carbon technologies, which is essential for the implementation of the SET-Plan. It comprises two parts: Part I, which is the work at hand, describes energy technologies and Part II analyses the impact of deployment of the SET-Plan technology priorities. The Technology Descriptions of the Technology Map contribute to the further definition of the first European Industrial Initiatives in 2010 and, most importantly, to the setting of a technology description (cost & performance) baseline for monitoring technological progress.

The Technology Descriptions of the 2009 Technology Map assess the technological state of the art and anticipated developments of 17 energy technologies, the status of the corresponding industries and their potential, the barriers to large scale deployment, the needs of the industrial sector to realise the technology goals and the synergies with other sectors. The technologies addressed are: wind power, solar photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, hydropower, geothermal energy, ocean energy, cogeneration of heat and power, carbon capture and storage, advanced fossil fuel power generation, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, electricity grids, bioenergy for power generation, biofuels for transport applications, fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, electricity storage and energy efficiency in transport.

This work was prepared by scientific experts of the European Commission, led by the JRC, in consultation with experts from the Member States and Industrial stakeholders. Finally, the contents of this document have been validated by independent experts in the frame of dedicated technical workshops.

The 2009 Technology Map is the SET-Plan reference on the state of knowledge for low carbon technology in Europe, presenting a snapshot of the energy technology market situation for 2008-2009. However, the information in this work should be seen in the context of the dynamics of the energy technology market. As such, SETIS is continuously tracking and monitoring the global development and progress of energy technologies and makes this information available “on-line” in the SETIS website: http://setis.ec.europa.eu. The European transmission system is generally defined as the network featuring at least high voltages, typically equal to or higher than 110–150 kV, and largely differs from the distribution systems, i.e. the lower voltage networks connecting transmission with final customers, mainly in terms of function, structure and consequent planning and operation philosophies [1, 2].



In order to comply with the energy and climate change policy targets of the EU by 2020, the grids must be capable to host Renewable Energy Sources for Electricity (RES-E) covering at least 30 - 35 % of the EU electricity consumption, cf. 16 % share recorded in 2006. The European transmission and distribution networks also face different challenges, which may push them to evolve following different trends and conflicting drivers. Adjectives such as ‘super’ and ‘smart’ are therefore more and more adopted in correlation with the analyses of future electricity grids to hint at features such as improved adequacy, flexibility, reliability and controllability [1, 3, 4, 5].