for sustainability

European transmission system operators’ vision for 2040

12 October 2017 – Every day energy infrastructures – somehow invisibly – bring electricity and gas to peoples’ homes, offices and factories. Their delivery has to be timely and secure to satisfy the needs of more than 500 million Europeans. Today there is another challenge: making the decarbonisation of the power system possible.


For the first time, the two European networks of transmission system operators for electricity and gas joined forces to make a common assessment of energy infrastructure needs. They developed a draft set of scenarios, with the help of other stakeholders, to identify the investments required up to 2040. The European climate and energy targets were the necessary ‘skyline’ of the scenarios.


Three storylines for Europe’s future energy needs


The transmission system operators presented the scenarios in a joint workshop on 9 October 2017 in Brussels. The long-term vision is captured through three storylines:

  • Sustainable Transition – where targets are reached through national regulation, emission trading schemes and subsidies, maximising the use of existing infrastructure.
  • Distributed Generation – where the focus is on prosumers (who both consume and produce energy at the same time), with small scale generation, batteries and fuel switching.
  • Global Climate Action – where global decarbonisation efforts are taking place at full speed, with large scale renewables generation.

The set also includes one storyline based on the European Commission's 2030 energy strategy.


Building a common scenario will ensure the electricity and gas transmission operators have a consistent assessment of what Europe’s energy needs will be in the future.


The next steps include an open consultation on the Scenario Report, which will run until 10 November 2017. The consultation is open to all stakeholders willing to give their contribution.


Read more about the ENTSOs scenarios up to 2040.