Developing future scenarios, resulting market models and their interplay with grid models, is a complex process. The outcome is highly dependent on assumptions put into the scenarios and the modelling. At the same time, this process is the one tool we have to understand which role an individual grid project or a system of grids play with regards to enabling certain future scenarios.
Scenario development and modeling is being done by TSOs and by ENTSO-E who have privileged access to data which feeds the grid models. Multiple other players (primarily consultancies or research institutes) work with their own models to replicate modeling results or gain insights into the ‘what if’ of other scenarios. Despite the resulting wide range of modeling results, insecurity amongst stakeholders remains high for a variety of reasons:
As a result, stakeholders who per se support renewables and understand the need for grids to enable renewables feel insecure in defending grid infrastructure needs that appear in national network development plans or the European TYNDP. This includes RGI’s NGO members who are willing to explain infrastructure needs at a local level to a skeptical public, but need to be secure that the energy transition drives these needs.
Since 2016, RGI has organised a set of so-called 'Future Scenario Exchange workshops' that look to improve the level of understanding amongst stakeholders with regards to scenario development and modeling and to enable TSOs to learn how their approaches could be adjusted in the light of stakeholders’ concerns. This process shall enable all parties to play an increasingly constructive role in their countries/the European debate about what future grid infrastructure is needed. Out of this workshop series, we produced in 2018 joint conclusions 'Enabling a renewables-based electricity system'.
Since 2019, the Future Scenario Exchange workshops have been merged with the so-called 'Modelers' Exchange workshops', which we are organising as part of the PAC project.