Think big on grid, EU leaders told

Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) is calling on European leaders to deliver on ambitious big electricity infrastructure objectives for 2030.

FOSG, an industrial alliance advocating the creation of a pan-European transmission network, is disappointed by timid European Commission (EC) proposals to reduce dependence on Russian gas and by its general lack of ambition on electricity infrastructure.

The European Council has asked the commission to propose by next month specific interconnection objectives to be attained by 2030.

FOSG says if Europe is to achieve its 2030 targets, it will need to enable investments in large low-carbon generation that are in many cases distant from centres of consumption. This requires the development of a pan-European supergrid, which should be the main objective for 2030, it believes.

The alliance says a supergrid would enable:

  • The optimisation of existing energy mixes
  • Integration of Europe’s renewables
  • A reduction of electricity prices, as the market would be fully integrated with a large choice of suppliers
  • A significant reduction in Europe’s energy imports
  • A reduction in CO2 emissions

FOSG has proposed steps to be included in the EC’s 2030 package to achieve these objectives. It also provides examples of existing investments in interconnections that demonstrate the benefits of such projects.

The EC this week unveiled an energy-security strategy that was strongly criticised by large sections of the renewables business for doing little more than swapping dependence on Russian gas imports for the unstable regions of the Middle East and North Africa.

The strategy also advocates accelerating the construction of key interconnectors. The EC proposes to extend the current 10% interconnection target to 15% by 2030.