The European Supergrid


April 23, 2013

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Over the past year or so, one of the hot topics in the industry has been the concept of the European supergrid. Deemed by many as critical to the future success of the wind energy industry and an integrated energy economy.

We caught up with Ana Aguado, CEO of Friends of the Supergrid, to ask her a few questions about what progress is being made and how close we’re coming to making the European supergrid a reality.

The European supergrid is not a new idea anymore, but naturally still has a long way to go. What are the challenges that lie ahead?


“The concept of Supergrid was first launched a decade ago as ‘a pan-European transmission network facilitating the integration of large-scale renewable energy and the balancing and transportation of electricity, with the aim of improving the European market’. At that time it was a vision, but today it is a question of common sense. The realisation of the Supergrid does therefore not really have or should not have a long way to go, also considering that its major objectives are inline with the EU energy imperatives.


The Supergrid is aimed at integrating all RES in Europe by 2050 in a secure and economically efficient manner. We should start building the first phase before 2020 and thus contribute to the realisation of a European internal market. This pan-European network will help decarbonising the energy sector and the EU economy while increasing its security of energy supply and independence.


The implementation of the Supergrid requires a political EU willingness to develop a European energy policy where the optimisation of generation and transmission is the major objective. Moreover, a EU regulatory framework should be put in place in order to achieve the previous objective and to thus attract the capital and financial interest of investors.”

Is the required level of financial investment falling woefully short?

style=”text-align: justify;”>”On the other hand, if the right political support and regulatory frameworks are not established, investors will consider investing in the Supergrid project too risky. The existing regulatory barriers make it practically impossible for investors to propose projects involving 3-4 member states at the same time, while the Supergrid concept is indeed all about this. A large scale demonstration project connecting 3-4 countries in the North Sea, involving the EU and the concerned stakeholders could be a way to start eliminating those barriers.”

What has been people’s reaction to the idea of a European Supergrid? Do people see it as an inevitability or an impossibility?


“People’s reaction to the idea of a European Supergrid is very positive especially for those that also believe in European integration benefits for consumers and citizens. Moreover, the EU has been trying for the last 17 years to achieve the internal electricity market; in this context Supergrid is therefore very welcomed and inevitable. The question is by when; in FOSG we believe it can be reached much earlier since Supergrid technology is already available. We have identified no ‘show-stoppers’ to the development of a European Supergrid whose construction can start today.”

Ana Aguado is CEO of Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG), a group of companies and organisations with a mutual interest in promoting the policy agenda for a European Supergrid.


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