Germany needs more electricity lines

Italy will need to enlarge its power grid by up to 170 per cent by 2050 to cope with the transfer of electricity from its energy-rich south to its big industrial centres in the north, said the German Energy Agency DEA.

Upgrading, extending and connecting Europe’s electricity grids is essential to meet Europe’s security of power supply, emissions reduction and renewable energy targets. It is also essential for a more competitive market and cheaper electricity. Without new and better grids Europe cannot exploit its enormous wind power resources and rapidly move towards a renewable energy economy.

But how can we achieve a European grid that works for the sources of energy that Europe is going to depend upon?

GRIDS 2010 is a two-day conference and exhibition organised by EWEA. The event will explore the financial, technical, policy and regulatory issues that will shape the development of a grid that meets Europe’s energy, consumer and climate needs.

The numbers are in interim findings from a European Union research project code-named Susplan. Germany is currently debating how to rebuild its own grid as part of a national energy plan to be adopted by the government on September 28.

The changes are being forced by the growth in wind energy and solar power, which are often generated in remote regions reached only by low-capacity electricity lines. DEA said major construction projects were needed to meet EU renewable-energy targets.

The final results are to be presented at a December 7 international conference in Berlin. Susplan is studying power distribution in nine European regions and comparing scenarios to integrate grids across borders using low-emission energy.

Previous German government statements have indicated Germany needs to build 850 kilometres of new high-voltage lines by 2015, but so far only 80 to 90 kilometres of that number have been constructed.