It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Supergrid!: Evolution, Opportunities, and Critical Issues for Pan-European Transmission

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Magazine Papers
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Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2013.2294813
Ettore Bompard, Gianluca Fulli, Mircea Ardelean, and Marcelo Masera
ieee power & energy magazine

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Several initiatives have been launched in the last decade in the European Union (EU) to align pan-European power grid development with the EU’s policy targets, particularly in the energy and climate change fields. The building of new infrastructures, initially driven mainly by the need for increased cross-border trading and integration of the wholesale electricity markets, is nowadays also strongly supported by the demand for integrating diversified, low-carbon energy sources (e.g., renewable wind and solar sources). 

The shape of the power grid in the medium- to long-term future (to 2050) depends greatly on different potential scenarios for the following items: renewable energy deployment (primarily in terms of technologies, performance, and geographical siting); extension of the European electricity network toward neighboring power grids (e.g. those of Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Russia); and the penetration of distributed energy sources that require the development of a smarter power system, especially at lower voltage levels. These factors, by defining preferential patterns for cross-European and intercontinental power flows, will outline the critical structural and operational needs of the European power grid of the future. ...

power grids, power markets, power transmission economics, European Union