European offshore grid could save billions claim EWEA

Billions of pounds could be saved through building a European offshore grid, according to new research published in Brussels.

The report Offshore Electricity Grid Infrastructure in Europe was released today (October 5) by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Research reveals the cost savings of building a fully-meshed European super grid will not only improve efficiencies - but could also bring down bills.

The research appears to echo UK energy watchdog Ofgem's view that a continent wide grid could 'have significant benefits for GB consumers'.

The obvious benefits of the grid would be enhanced security of supply allowing provider to balance out falls in certain renewables and ,of course, more competitive pricing.

To achieve the best results the report argues in favour of building 'hub connections' at sea instead of using cables to connect single wind farms individually to the shore will costs Euros 14bn less.

And, also argues for, the cost for creating the complete offshore grid, including wind farm connections, would amount to just 0.1 Eurocent per kWh used in the EU27 over the project's life time.

The findings, co-funded by the European Commission, also warn a new regulatory framework is needed to enable its construction.

EWEA chief executive, Christian Kjaer, said: "If the right regulatory measures are put in place to enable this improved grid development, substantial economic benefits can be reaped through the projected savings in investment costs.

"Also this will significantly increase the security of electricity supply, in a truly liberalised European energy market this should have a positive effect on our electricity bills."

Luke Walsh


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