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WEBINAR: Electric Transmission and the Energy Transition - Perspectives From Africa, Europe, and North America

  • April 10, 2024
  • 10:00am–11:30am
  • Online

                                                            REGISTER HERE

This webinar, co-hosted by the Institute for Policy Integrity and the European University Institute’s Florence School of Regulation, explored the challenges, strategies, and evolving dynamics associated with electric transmission infrastructure in the context of the global energy transition. We analyzed three distinct regions, shedding light on the varied approaches each takes to address imperatives such as sustainability, reliability, resilience, accessibility, and affordability within their energy systems.

Historically, electric grids have been co-planned with generation. However, the ongoing energy transition and ambitious decarbonization goals necessitate streamlining existing transmission infrastructure. In various parts of the U.S. and Europe, transmission bottlenecks are already severe and may impede the progress of the energy transition. Our discussion encompassed both regions’ strategies for elevating transmission as a priority on the political agenda.

The power grid in Africa is less integrated compared to Europe and the U.S. Nevertheless, the continent is rich in renewable resources for electricity generation. We explored the region’s plans to unlock these resources, enhance energy access, and promote socio-economic development.

Additionally, we examined alternatives to traditional transmission methods and elaborate on the role of modern grid technologies. We scrutinized the advantages of planning a future energy system from scratch as opposed to remodeling existing suboptimal infrastructure. A significant portion of our discussion focused on how climate change, extreme weather phenomena, a more weather-dependent generation resource mix, and potential demand growth due to electrification trends impact the necessity for transmission.

By presenting a tri-continental perspective, the debate provided a nuanced understanding of regional intricacies, offering valuable insights for policymakers, industry leaders, and researchers alike.

Speakers included: 

  • Rob Gramlich - Grid Strategies LLC
  • Jan Kostevc - EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
  • Federico Pontoni - Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
  • Maria Robinson - U.S. Department of Energy's Grid Deployment Office
  • Raphael Sauter - European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy
  • Christoph Graf (Moderator) - Institute for Policy Integrity
  • Marzia Sesini (Moderator) - Florence School of Regulation