Projected renewable energy growth in Europe requires major transmission upgrade - study

Source: German Energy Agency

The future development of the electricity and gas infrastructure in Europe strongly depends on the expansion of renewable energy sources. The proportion of electricity generated from renewables in Europe could be increased to about 70 percent by 2050. 

This would result in a significant demand for new electricity infrastructure. In order to integrate additional renewable electricity, the European power grid would have to be expanded by about 200,000 MW of new transmission capacity between 2030 and 2050. Especially in the transit regions Italy, Spain, Turkey and the Balkan, the development of gas infrastructure would become more important. 

These are just some of the results from a trans-national study carried out on behalf of the European Union as part of the SUSPLAN project and in cooperation with the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) - the German Energy Agency

The study emphasizes the need to take a holistic and foresighted approach to planning future European electricity and gas infrastructure. This is where the EU project SUSPLAN (PLANning for SUStainability) comes in, drawing up integrated scenarios for possible developments of the European electricity and gas infrastructures for the period 2030 to 2050. If the greatest possible proportion of renewable resources is to be integrated by 2050, it is necessary to begin reorganising the energy systems today and take into account the the resulting requirements on energy infrastructure. 

Strategies and options for shaping Europe's future energy infrastructure will be presented and discussed at the second international SUSPLAN conference in October 2011 in Brussels. 

The Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) - the German Energy Agency - is one of 16 European SUSPLAN project partners in 12 countries. SUSPLAN was established under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Program and is funded by the Directorate-General for Transport and Energy.

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