Europe may have to consider building transmission lines underground — despite the increased cost — to get around the problem of Nimbyism, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) tells Recharge.

“[People] don’t want transmission lines when it affects their lives,” said Francesco La Camera in his strong Italian accent. “There are many, many investments that may be more environmentally friendly — all the transmission lines that can be buried underground.”

When Recharge pointed out that burying cables could treble their cost, he replied: “Yes, that’s correct, but you always have to consider what are the financial costs and the ‘real costs', in terms of health, security, etc.”