Grid for wind energy in northern Europe

After initial meetings in Ireland last year, officials from the nine countries will meet in the February, and aim to sign a binding agreement by the end of 2010. The project is mainly going to be funded by energy firms, which will be drawn into the negotiations. It is expected to produce 100 gigawatts of power.

Nine countries are expected to invest 30 billions in 10 years. A new project proposes to create a giant North European power grid to connect up energy generated from renewable sources.

Indeed, nine European countries have signed a cooperation agreement aiming at developing an underwater high-voltage electrical grid with the purpose of collecting all the power produced in renewable energy plants that already exist or that are to be constructed in northern Europe and in the North Sea (wind energy, solar, hydroelectric, wave and tidal power).

The project – which should be completed within the next 10 years, with investments estimated in about 30 billion euros – involves France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom.

It aims at increasing the reliability of renewable sources by compensating the irregular nature of power thus generated. The latter is particularly significant for large wind farms, especially offshore ones, whose production would be integrated with that of other renewable sources, mainly with the large hydroelectric production of Scandinavian countries.

Europe is presently developing offshore wind power projects for a total capacity of approximately 100,000 MW, equivalent to 10% of the EU’s electricity consumption.