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Better power grids needed to assist wind power growth in Europe

15/12/2010

Adding 265 gigawatts of wind-sourced electricity into the European grids by 2020 is expected to save 41.7 billion euros in electricity costs annually. Market trends and limited infrastructure stand in the way of wind power growth in Europe, stopping the inflow of billions of euros in power savings, according to a new report by the European Wind Energy Association.

Adding 265 gigawatts of wind-sourced electricity into the European grids by 2020 is expected to save 41.7 billion euros in electricity costs annually.


Market trends and limited infrastructure stand in the way of wind power growth in Europe, stopping the inflow of billions of euros in power savings, according to a new report by the European Wind Energy Association.

 

While there are no technical barriers to integrating increased wind power generation into the European power grid, it is still imperative the region must improve its electric system to adopt additional wind power facilities.


Better power grids needed to assist wind power growth in Europe.jpg


A new offshore grid is needed in the Northern Seas, including the North Sea, Irish Sea and Baltic Sea, to support the increased power production needed to meet the target of 34 percent renewable electricity by 2020.

 

Grid interconnections among neighboring countries such as Spain and France must also be enhanced to allow distribution of necessary wind power to target areas.

 

The report suggests the use of high-voltage direct current cables for long-distance electricity superhighways and smart grids to manage power supply and demand.

 

Additionally, a fair and effective electric market is a must to encapsulate the expanded wind energy production in the region. Establishing a unified market in electricity and upgrade electric infrastructure will net significant economic benefits.

 

An improved regional interconnection will reap a 1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) euro reduction in total operational costs each year mainly because of the expanded availability of all generation capacity.

 

On the other hand, adding 265 gigawatts of wind-sourced electricity into the European grids by 2020 is expected to save 41.7 billion euros in electricity costs annually. Under a merit order effect, this total values at 11 euros for every megawatt-hour produced from all sources of electricity, including wind turbines.

 

“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 network,” noted Daniel Dobbeni, president of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.

 

“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,” he added.

 

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