Powering Europe - New Report Sets out Vision for the Future European Grid and Markets

By Ewea, PRNE
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BERLIN, November 24, 2010 - Last week the European Commission said: "The EU pays the price for its
outdated and poorly interconnected energy infrastructure". Today the European
Wind Energy Association (EWEA) publishes a new report with a vision for a
modern renewable energy power system, which sets out how the grid can
integrate increasing amounts of wind energy.

'Powering Europe', launched today at the GRIDS 2010 conference and
exhibition in Berlin organised by EWEA, argues there are no major technical
barriers - but there are major economic benefits - to integrating large
amounts of fuel- and pollution-free wind energy into Europe's electricity

The new report identifies infrastructure and markets as the two key
barriers to hugely increasing the amount of wind power in Europe's
electricity supply.

In order to deliver the onshore and offshore wind energy from where it is
produced to where it will be consumed, Europe needs:

    - extended, upgraded and better connected grids,
    - fair and effective competition in a truly internal European market in

The economic benefits of creating a single market in electricity and
improving the infrastructure are substantial, according to the new EWEA
report. The benefits of a better interconnected grid include a
EUR1,500-million yearly reduction in total operational costs of power
generation, due to increased availability of all generation capacity.

The benefit of integrating 265 Gigawatt (GW) of wind into Europe's grids
by 2020 - compared to no further growth in wind power capacity - would be a
saving of EUR41.7bn per year in the cost of electricity. This is a 'merit
order' effect of EUR11 for every MWh produced, not just those MWh produced by
wind turbines. And if our electricity markets are functioning, that is a
saving that could be passed on to consumers.

The electricity grid infrastructure needed to accommodate increasingly
large amounts of renewable energy and create effective competition in a
single market in electricity, including a new offshore grid in Europe's
Northern Seas (North Sea, Irish Sea and Baltic Sea), as well as a number of
improved interconnections across continental Europe (especially between Spain
and France, but also between Germany and its neighbours across the Alps and
in eastern and south eastern Europe).

HVDC cables are an attractive new technological option for long-distance
electricity superhighways such as the offshore grid that is required in the
near future, says the new report.

The report also reveals that flexibility will need to be a key feature of
European power systems in the future. This means power generation will have
to be more flexible to take into account variable sources of power, such as
wind and solar. Smart grids will be needed to allow management of demand as
well as improved management of supply, and largely national grids will have
to be better interconnected. EWEA's new report shows how Denmark, Germany,
Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands have managed their power systems much more
flexibly than in the past.

Daniel Dobbeni, President of ENTSO-E, said: "this report is a very
welcome publication with a clear view towards 2020, 2030 and 2050. Together
with our Ten Year Network Development Plan, it helps building a common
understanding on the major issues surrounding the integration of wind energy
in the European grids. The report also provides arguments that will certainly
be in the centre of policy debate as we can presently observe from the
publication of the Commission's blueprint for an integrated European energy

EWEA - European Wind Energy Association asbl/vzw


Contact details: Peter Sennekamp, Media Officer: +32496919315/ peter.sennekamp at ewea.org,

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