Our outdated grids are holding Europe back

» By | Published 16 Nov 2010

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Imagine not being able to buy food or clothing from any country apart from your own. How boring – and expensive – our lives would be. Yet this is the case with most of our electricity. Because our power grids have few links between countries, 95% of power in Europe is consumed in the country in which it is produced.

An updated, Europe-wide power grid, with stronger, more numerous interconnectors, would allow wind power to be transported from wherever in Europe it’s blowing to wherever in Europe the consumers are, and open up cross-border trade in electricity.

Opening up the power market in Europe would have a far greater impact on thousands of consumers, bringing prices down as fuel-free wind power and other renewables would be preferred by the market to fossil fuels with unpredictable costs.

Yet there is a host of practical questions to tackle. What has to be done first? How and who by? Who will pay? What needs to be built? Where does the material come from? And who is in charge of the process?

The upcoming November issue of Wind Directions talks to different grid experts to find out more. While you wait, why not read September’s Wind Directions?