A group of leading European Transmission System Operators (TSOs) plans to explain and further assess the role played by TSOs in decarbonising the energy system. The result of the joint initiative announced today will be a paper to be completed by mid-2021 and disseminated at a dedicated event. The paper will clarify:
- TSOs’ plans and direct initiatives for continuing to reduce the carbon footprint of their own activities and controlling the carbon footprint of their value chains;
- how TSOs enable secure electrification and RES integration while contributing to the decarbonisation of the energy system as a whole, and how these contributions can be assessed and monitored under a common framework;
- the most efficient instruments to be implemented and/or supported by TSOs that should be fully activated in the public interest to enable the decarbonisation of the energy system.
TSOs can contribute massively to system-level Green House Gas (GHG) emission reduction. The electricity is one of the most cost-effective decarbonisation solutions in many sectors of the economy, thanks to its intrinsic efficiency and its direct link with renewable generation.
TSOs can contribute to GHG emission reduction in two ways: by reducing the direct GHG emissions of their own activities and, more significantly, by playing a key role in reducing emissions at energy system level, through RES integration, electrification of demand and cross-sectoral integration. The full potential of RES integration can only be realised if grid expansion is accelerated and RES are part of the energy market design. These are driving key transformations towards achieving Europe’s long-term decarbonisation targets. Innovation – a critical factor in TSOs’ active role.
Being a key player in the energy transition poses a new challenge for European TSOs. They must implement innovative solutions to deal with electrification and RES integration, while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint of their own activities and controlling the carbon footprint of their value chain (1). As a result, there is a need for the timely development of an innovative grid infrastructure that incorporates innovative flexible tools in the public interest.
Joining forces for a common approach
Despite their major contribution to GHG emission reduction, TSOs’ key role is not often fully recognised or well documented at European level.
Most of the focus and efforts are still within the bounds of TSOs’ activities, for which the GHG emission inventory is standardised (GHG protocol). Increasing TSOs’ ambitions for GHG targets, sustainability plans and the implementation of enabling instruments requires a joint approach and enhanced cooperation on how to classify and measure system-level GHG emission reduction.
Our collective thinking is the basis of an approach which we want to be as inclusive as possible in order to address very concretely the current challenges for reducing the carbon footprint, with all TSOs and with all the stakeholders and decision makers through an open dialogue.
TenneT is a leading European grid operator (Transmission System Operator (TSO). We design, build, maintain and operate the high-voltage electricity grid in the Netherlands and large parts of Germany and facilitate the European energy market. We are committed to providing a secure and reliable supply of electricity, today and in the future, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and to playing our role in driving the energy transition. We transport electricity over a network of approximately 23,500 kilometres of high-voltage connections, from wherever and however it's generated, to over 42 million end-users while keeping electricity supply and demand balanced at all times. With close to 5,000 employees, we achieve a turnover of 4.1 billion euros and a total asset value of EUR 23 billion. TenneT is one of the largest investors in national and international onshore and offshore electricity grids. TenneT makes every effort to meet the needs of society. This will require us all to take ownership, show courage and connect with each other.
(1) In accordance with Scope 1, 2 and 3 of the GHG emission protocol.