Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Jan 13

Renewable Energy ‘Supergrid’ coming to Europe

Posted in Energy Economy | Energy Industry | Energy Politics

Renewable Energy Supergrid Europe UK’s energy and climate change minister, Lord Hunt shares his opinion, “We recognise that the North Sea has huge resources, we are exploiting those in the UK quite intensively at the moment. But there are projects where it might make sense to join up with other countries, so this comes at a very good time for us.” Lord Hunt is talking about several North Sea countries that have coalesced for a good cause. They are aiming to create a clean and green supergrid. This supergrid will be connected to wind farms of Scotland, solar panels of Germany and hydro-electric dams of Norway. This project will be ready soon and then the first green European electricity grid will become a reality. They have expanded a network of thousands of kilometers of highly efficient undersea cables. These network cables will cost around €30bn. This way renewable energy generated in any of the North Sea countries will be available to many.

The supergrid will also perform the task of a gigantic 30GW battery for Europe’s alternative and clean energy. This grid will store electricity when energy demand is low. The North Sea grid would also operate as a spine of the future European electricity supergrid, where more energy will be produced from renewable energy sources. They are also trying to overcome the problem of unreliability associated with alternative energy. This supergird will have electricity available in all types of unpredictable weather because at least one phenomenon of nature will be happening such as blowing wind, lapping waves or shiny sun. Justin Wilkes, is the policy director of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). He said, “If Europe is able to develop a super-grid it will be a vital ingredient in the fight against climate change because it will allow large-scale integration of renewable electricity production.”

This project involves the participation of nine governments of Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden and Ireland and the UK. This project will lay a milestone to the oath, European Union took, that by 2020 they will meet 20% of their energy needs from alternative sources of energy.

Hydro powered plants of Norway are equal to about 30 large coal-fired power stations. They can utilize extra energy to pump water uphill. That water will fall down again creating the necessary force to generate electricity when there is a laxity in demand. Wilkes says, “The benefits of an offshore supergrid are not simply to allow offshore wind farms to connect; if you have additional capacity, which you will do within these lines, it will allow power trading between countries and that improves EU competitiveness.”

The EWEA has conducted a study regarding the costs of connecting the proposed 100GW wind farms and building interconnectors. These interconnectors will also accommodate wind and wave power farms in future. This cost will be around €30bn. Lord Hunt is talking about the plan, “The first thing we’re aiming for is a common vision. We will hopefully sign a memorandum of understanding in the autumn with ministers setting out what we’re trying to do and how we plan to do it.”

Hunt agreed that the European supergrid will be a long term project but it will not remain in its planning phase only. They will take a concrete shape in future. Hunt agreed that The UK, like other countries, faced “huge challenges with our renewables targets. The 2020 target is just the beginning and then we’ve got to aim for 2050 with a decarbonised electricity supply – so we need all the renewables we can get.”

  • Mike Maybury

    It is important , at this early stage, to ensure that this grid be correct, possibly DC, so that it can be integrated fully with the proposed grid, already supported by our Prime Minister, linking the whole of Europe, not just northern states, with Mediterranean states and Africa.

    The solar and wind energy available from the Sahara will be capable of supplying most of our electrical needs, as well as those of Africa, ensuring that even cold crises, which we have at present, will not affect the supply significantly.

    Ensuring this continent-wide project and linking with the continent of Africa should ensure a reduction in the problems of poverty at present linked to Africa.

  • Howard Butts

    I generate electricity with my photo panels and send extra back into the grid now, I guess it would work for a nation to do it too. I just like the idea that I am doing it and not depending on them to do it for me.


  • Bill Montagne

    What do I think?

    I have been engineering a solution to this problem for six years, and believe I have found a solution that is first economical and second, will OPERATE in any wind up to 100 plus mph or 45 meters per second. The cost of this equipment will be between one half and one sixth of the current purchase price per KW actually produced. The concept uses known aerodynamics and has been modeled and tested to 50 mph or 23 meters per second. Amortization, without any tax rebates will be less than four years in average areas and less than three years in good wind areas. Business plans and financial models have been put together.

    Bill Montagne, Alaska

  • Francisco A Roque

    This kind of projects BIG OIL should be thinking about it, rather than try to drill the last drop of oil.

  • Dredditor

    A 30GW battery?

  • Jerry Desaulniers

    A new wind turbine invention was released to the public last week. Check out this short video

  • Ron Wagner

    It must be super secure from physical, electrical, internet, and telecommunication attack from any source, including internal European sources. Careful security clearance of all involved is essential. Also not sharing grid information with the Russians.

  • Rif

    Parts of an interconnected European super-grid (HVDC) already exists.

    In the North sea area, prevailing wind direction is west to east. Hence for wind turbine power it makes sense to have an interconnected grid spread as far east (Sweden) and west (Ireland) as possible.

  • Pascal Grobler

    I think it is a great idea, however it still needs to be more efficient, energy bills are still rising in the UK so there is still much to be done. I wonder how long the wave generator will take before it goes into production.

  • Robyn Robinson

    I would like to know if anyone out there believes this would be possible in the United States, and, if not, what do you think are the barriers to developing this type of system in the United States? Thank you.

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