European Renewables Grid Initiative Announces Partners

July 24, 2009
The European Renewables-Grid-Initiative brings together NGOs and TSOs and announces initial partners to work toward a better electricity grid for renewables.

The European Renewables-Grid-Initiative brings together NGOs and TSOs and announces initial partners to work toward a better electricity grid for renewables. It is necessary to:

  • Fully integrate localised and decentralised renewable supplies
    Fully integrate large-scale offshore wind and concentrated solar power
  • Facilitate the possibility to recover investments in both high voltage DC and AC lines
  • Deploy innovative and smart grid technologies to foster energy conservation potentials

The Renewables-Grid-Initiative (RGI) promotes the expansion of distributed and bulk renewable energy generation and transmission capacity in Europe. To reach this target, the initiative brings together nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and transmission system operators (TSOs). For the first time, WWF, Germanwatch, Vattenfall Europe Transmission and Tennet join forces for a common cause.

A large-scale integration of renewable energy sources is deemed necessary to reach the European targets of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020 translating into about 35 percent renewable electricity and to comply further with the 2050 targets of cutting global climate pollution by at least 80 percent. However, a considerable expansion of renewable electricity into the European grid can only be achieved by upgrading and expanding transmission capacity. New strategic interconnections will be required to transport renewable electricity from remote locations to consumption centres.

New mandate for energy regulators
The Renewables-Grid-Initiative demands a new mandate for energy regulators to enable the development of a European grid architecture capable of rapidly and efficiently transmitting renewable energies. Smart grid development is an essential precondition for substantive renewable energy integration for both decentralised renewables and large scale wind and solar power. At a time of serious economic distress and mounting pressure to address the widespread environmental, economic, and geopolitical consequences of our excessive reliance on fossil fuels, the case for sustainable investments in renewable energy generation
and the transmission grid has never been stronger.

Readiness of the electricity grids
Ben Voorhorst – COO, TenneT: “Both the European Union and the Dutch Cabinet ’s have formulated an ambition of realizing a sustainable international energy landscape. This ambitious goal can't be reached without intensive cooperation between many stakeholders. This initiative is a import step in order to help each other to be able to develop and expand the electricity grids to integrate renewables as soon as possible. TenneT as a TSO will make all the necessary preparations to ensure optimum readiness of the electricity grids, for example to connect offshore wind farms, sufficient transport capabilities from large scale production to area's of consumption and to keep a reliable security of supply in the future."

The representatives of the four initial partners WWF, Germanwatch, Vattenfall Europe Transmission and TenneT signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the press conference on 3 July 2009 in Berlin.

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