Thanks to the Spanish STE program, the EU is a global leader in STE technology, profiting from a broad base of diverse companies and sectors.
A domestic STE market of at least 250 MW per year is needed to maintain this leadership. Such market development is in line with the IEA estimate that Europe should install 15 GW of STE by 2030.
An EU-level approach to STE as a Technology of Common Interest is required to support reliable off-take options for STE projects. This approach should combine strategic investments in energy security with support for renewable energy, as well as cohesion and research funding. In particular, innovative commercial projects need support including access to affordable long-term financing.
In addition, STE needs a remuneration mechanism that rewards its system benefits, and long-term transmission rights (15-25 years) to make cross-border projects bankable.
Concrete EU initiatives are required to increase low north-south grid capacities, particularly projects from the Iberian Peninsula, southern Italy and Greece, e.g. using submarine cables.