Supergrid group wants more from EC

Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG), a European industrial alliance advocating the creation of a pan-European transmission network, has called for more action to be taken by the European Commission to help develop grid infrastructure.

The alliance welcomes a positive message contained in draft guidelines, released by the Commission this week, on environmental and energy aid for 2014-2020 regarding cross-border energy infrastructure and Projects of Common Interest (PCIs).

FOSG says the development of a pan-European transmission network would help optimise the energy mix across Europe to help reach the EU’s triple 2020 targets. It also points out that an integrated, single European market will also be a prerequisite for achieving 2030 targets and goals.

FOSG believes, however, that these guidelines should not be limited to the PCIs, but should also apply to all cross-border infrastructure projects. It says these projects should include nodal connections – transmission networks that split off to connect into multiple jurisdictions.

Additionally, FOSG says it considers it essential that member states’ capacity mechanisms take into account the role that existing and future cross-border interconnectors can play.  It says member states should be encouraged, through these and other guidelines, to allow generation capacity from neighbouring countries to participate in national capacity market auctions.

The European Network of Transmission Operators for Electricity believes that the coverage and capacity of existing grids will not be adequate to meet the anticipated increase in volumes and location of future power demand.

In its 2012 ten year Network Development Plan, it estimates that 45,300km of new transmission lines will be required for Europe to meet its renewables targets alone, much of which it says must be cross-border links.