The European Commission should set up a “master plan for electricity highways”, according to the trade body representing Europe’s transmission operators.

ENTSO-E says such a plan would be a vital tool in the designing, planning and building of a 21st century supergrid.

And it adds that “communication and interaction with the public is crucial” to the success of any grid-related infrastructure projects.

It made its remarks in a report analysing the EC’s proposed Energy Roadmap 2050, which Brussels wants to be a blueprint for how to deliver a decarbonised and competitive electricity market.

ENTSO-E said such a roadmap was “a positive step in the right direction” and would “contribute to providing TSOs with the needed predictability on which to base strategies and investments”.

Yet it stressed that 2050 “is not that far away in infrastructure investment terms”, and as such all policies in an energy roadmap must be subject to “through competitiveness proofing” to give TSOs “a stable and predictable framework of regulations and investment conditions”.

The trade group also puts great emphasis on keeping the public onside with any infrastructure projects.

“Since household expenditure is estimated to rise on the short and medium term, it is crucial to develop citizen’s understanding of the social costs that the transformation of the energy sector will imply,” it said.