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In this joint FSR-NYU episode of #FSRDebates, we explore the challenges, strategies, and evolving dynamics associated with electric transmission infrastructure in the context of the global energy transition. We analyze 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 will encompass 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 will explore the region’s plans to unlock these resources, enhance energy access, and promote socio-economic development.

Additionally, we will examine alternatives to traditional transmission methods and elaborate on the role of modern grid technologies. We will scrutinize the advantages of planning a future energy system from scratch as opposed to remodeling existing suboptimal infrastructure. A significant portion of our discourse will focus 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 will provide a nuanced understanding of regional intricacies, offering valuable insights for policymakers, industry leaders, and researchers alike.


Moderators: 16.00 – 16.05

  • Marzia Sesini, FSR
  • Christoph Graf, NYU

Keynote Presentations 16.05-16.50 

  • Maria Robinson – Director, US Department of Energy Grid Deployment Office
  • Raphael Sauter – DG Energy, European Commission
  • Amine Idriss Adoum – (Director Infrastructure, Industrialisation and Trade Directorate) AUDA NEPAD

Debate 16.50 – 17.20 

  • Rob Gramlich – President, Grid Strategies LLC
  • Federico Pontoni – Technologies for Energy Transition Director, FEEM
  • Jan Kostevc – Team leader Energy Infrastructure, ACER

Conclusions  17.20-17.30

  • Andris Piebalgs, FSR
  • Christopher Jones, FSR
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Scientific organiser
Andris Piebalgs
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