There are no technical barriers to the integration of large amounts of wind into the European electricity grid, according to a new report, but a single market and better interconnection would bring major benefits.
The report, Powering Europe, launched by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) yesterday sets out how the grid can integrate increasing amounts of wind energy.
Creating a single market for electricity and improving the grid infrastructure – particularly through better connection between nations – could reduce overall operational costs by up to €1500 million a year, says the EWEA.
But the variability of wind power – as well as solar – means that European power systems will need to be much more flexible in future.
A new offshore grid in the North, Irish and Baltic Seas, as well as better connections across continental Europe – particularly between Spain and France, Germany and its neighbours, across the Alps and between eastern and south eastern Europe – would help balance out any variability in supply.
Smart grids will also be needed, says the report, to help manage supply and demand.
“This report is a very welcome publication,” says Daniel Dobbeni, president of ENTSO-E, the association of electricity transmission network operators. “It helps build a common understanding on the major issues surrounding the integration of wind energy in the European grids.”
For further information:
Europe predicts strong year ahead for wind market (15-Jun)
EU expects to meet 20% renewables target by 2020 (22-Feb)
Nine European countries sign up to North Sea supergrid (8-Dec 2009)
EU takes first steps towards a smart grid (7-Sept 2009)
25 November 2010