The future of TSOs ─ electricity and gas highways


EU Commissioner for Energy Mr. Günther Oettinger addressing the PwC roundtable participants on the topic of "The EU’s view on the changing transmission landscape".

More than 51 senior executives and experts from 16 different countries gathered in September 2013 in Brussels, Belgium, for PwC’s roundtable on the challenges facing modern transmission service operator (TSO) companies. Participants were drawn from industry bodies, regulators and companies involved in TSO activity in different parts of world as well as from PwC.

Transmission service operators (TSOs) have always played a vital, central part of modern power systems but now their role and the challenges they face are changing fast as the generation and flow mix become more volatile and more complex. Welcoming participants to the roundtable, Norbert Schwieters, PwC Global Power & Utilities Leader, observed: “Safety and reliability have been always critical issues for TSOs. Network planning, development, natural hazards, generation/consumption imbalances, grid instability and failure are just a few of the things a modern TSO is dealing with. Add in the need to integrate renewable energy sources, the wider development of decentralised generation and the strengthening of interconnections at European level and you begin to see the full extent of the challenges.”

This report gives a flavour of the content from what was a very wide-ranging roundtable discussion. We focus on:

  • European electricity networks
  • European gas infrastructure planning
  • Global contrasts: California, Nigeria and South Africa
  • Balancing the regulatory challenges