SUSPLAN (PLANning for SUStainability): Development of regional and European-wide guidelines for more efficient integration of renewable energy into future infrastructures

Building upon previous renewable energy sources integration projects, such as Priority Interconnection Plan, Trans-European Energy Netwok, or the dena-Grid Study, SUSPLAN uniquely conducts comprehensive analyses and case studies based on three fundamental elements:

  • Future scenarios for electricity, heating, and gas infrastructure will be assessed simultaneously;

  • The timeframe for SUSPLAN scenarios and analyses extends into a broader period until 2050; and

  • SUSPLAN evaluates the relationship between national, regional and other influences across Europe on renewable energy sources integration.

The main objective is to develop a comprehensive set of robust guidelines (WP5) for infrastructure and network decision makers and power distributors regionally as well as across Europe. These guidelines will be established based on extensive regional and trans-national scenario studies. They will consist of strategies, recommendations, criteria and benchmarks for more efficient integration of renewable energy sources (RES) into future infrastructures in the time perspective of 2030-2050.

SUSPLAN aims to develop a sophisticated toolbox, with the objective of providing an optimal combination of tools and knowledge for network-integration of RES. In detail the guidelines will comprise recommendations regarding innovative institutional structures for overcoming non-technological barriers. These recommendations will contain an overview of regulatory reforms which will be necessary for RES-markets, electricity and gas networks in EU member states as well as at a pan-European level. Further, the new role in the commercial context necessary to be fulfilled by distribution and transmission system operators, regulators and energy suppliers will be elaborated. Finally, strategies for technology deployment (e.g. off-shore wind, wave, solar energy etc.) and system solutions (e.g. high voltage direct current grids, liquid natural gas networks, etc.) enabling a more efficient RES integration in future networks will be developed.

The guidelines described above will be developed based on the results of regional case studies (WP2) and trans-national case studies (WP3). However, the case studies will also generate direct results themselves. The regional scenario studies will analyse existing energy system in nine different regions, establishing knowledge and awareness on the possibilities of future deployment of RES and future need for infrastructures. The regional scenarios studies will also establish networks and relationships between the most relevant actors for further deployment of RES in the regions. The trans-national scenario studies assess the need for electricity and gas infrastructure until 2050. They will point out economic, legal, technical and environmental barriers for the implementation of RES. Furthermore, options for removing regional and trans-national barriers will be given.

The results of the SUSPLAN project will be announced to relevant decision-makers by regional and European workshops, publications and the project website.