EU Supergrid Lobby Group Founding Meeting

“Friends of the Supergrid” (FOSG), an organization recently announced by leaders from 10 global companies, has been set up to progress policy towards the construction of a high voltage DC (HVDC) pan-European Offshore Supergrid.

The FOSG members claim a unique insight into the policies needed to create the supergrid, as well as the capability to deliver it in practice through the combination of their respective areas of expertise.

Founding members include 3E, AREVA T&D, DEME Blue Energy, Elia, Hochtief Construction AG, Mainstream Renewable Power, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Prysmian Cables & Systems, Siemens and Visser & Smit Marine Contracting.

FOSG says it is the only representative body combining sectors that will deliver the infrastructure and related technology, together with companies that will develop, install, own and operate that infrastructure.

Speaking at the launch on behalf of the members, Mainstream Renewable Power’s Chief Executive Dr Eddie O’Connor said: “The UK government has recently shown its commitment to large-scale offshore wind by announcing the development of up to 50 GW by 2020. We now need to integrate this huge resource into Europe to enable the open trade of electricity between Member States. The Friends of the Supergrid is uniquely placed to influence policy-makers towards creating the Supergrid and ultimately changing how we generate, transmit and consume electricity for generations to come.”

Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association, noted: “Europe’s current electricity structure still bears the characteristics of the time in which it was developed. It is national in nature, the technologies applied are ageing and the markets supporting it are underdeveloped. Given the international nature of the energy challenges we face, it is astounding that 24 years after the Single European Act was signed, we still do not have an internal market for electricity. We urgently need to establish the free movement of energy; the Supergrid will be fundamental for establishing that freedom.”

He concluded: “A single European grid and effective competition in the European power markets are essential elements, not only for the integration of large-scale wind power and other renewable but also to ensure that European consumers have access to affordable and domestically produced energy.”

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