European Renewable Grid Initiative Launched

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and transmission system operators (TSOs) have joined forces to create The Renewables-Grid-Initiative (RGI), which demands a new mandate for energy regulators to enable the development of a European grid architecture capable of rapidly and efficiently transmitting renewable energies.

WWF, Germanwatch, Vattenfall Europe Transmission and transmission group TenneT have joined forces, arguing that new strategic interconnections will be required to transport renewable electricity from remote locations to consumption centres.

Large-scale integration of renewable energy sources is deemed necessary to reach the European targets of 20% renewable energy by 2020 translating into about 35% renewable electricity. However, a considerable expansion of renewable electricity into the European grid can only be achieved by upgrading and expanding transmission capacity, the RGI says.

The group says it is necessary to fully integrate localised and decentralised renewable supplies as well as large-scale offshore wind and concentrating solar power. Furthermore, measures are required to facilitate the possibility to recover investments in both high voltage DC and AC lines and deploy innovative and smart grid technologies to foster energy conservation potentials. Indeed, smart grid development is an essential precondition for substantive renewable energy integration for both decentralised renewables and large-scale wind and solar power, the RGI notes.

The Renewables-Grid-Initiative is based on scientific work of Antonella Battaglini, Senior Scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and European Climate Forum SuperSmart Grid Process Leader.

Commenting Battaglini said: “New thinking and new alliances are required to meet the challenges posed by increasing energy needs and climate change. Thanks to science and technology we have seen years of extraordinary development, but we have also created problems which we urgently need to solve. Our energy system needs to be transformed and become largely based on renewable energy sources. A large consensus across society is necessary for this transformation to take place. NGOs have a key role in representing general public long term interests, in supporting necessary infrastructure expansions and in contributing to the political process to develop clear, long term mechanisms and regulations. The transmission operators have a central role in planning and implementing the future grid architecture in full consideration of the decarbonisation requirements set by the 2050 targets. The Renewables-Grid Initiative sets the ground for speeding up investments in grid infrastructure, to fully integrate renewable energy sources wherever they are produced and whenever they become available, in full recognition of environmental concerns. A clear framework for tailored investments in grid expansion will enable simultaneously large renewable expansion projects, which substantially contribute to the 2020 and 2050 targets, while stimulating the economy.“

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