EC backs power TSOs' plan for modular power grid expansion to 2050: industry
London (Platts)--19Jun2012/812 am EDT/1212 GMT
The European Commission is to give financial backing to a plan by EU
power transmission system operators to create a framework for the modular
expansion of the European power grid between 2020 and 2050, EU power grid
operator body Entso-e said Tuesday.
A consortium of 15 grid operators, research institutes, universities,
industry associations and a non-governmental organization set up the
"e-Highway2050" project consortium and applied for funding under the EC's
seventh framework program for research and development FP-7 Energy 2012.
"The project aims at delivering a top-down methodology to support the
planning of the pan-European Transmission network, including possible
electricity highways, capable of meeting European needs between 2020 and
2050," Ensto-e said.
The project was shortlisted by the EC for funding following a decision
in April. The extent of the funding was not yet known, but could be up to
Eur9 million ($11.3 million), an Entso-e spokesman said Tuesday.
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Entso-e said the three-year project would formally begin in July.
Throughout the project, partners would review mid- to long-term national
policies, look at macro-economic factors which may impact infrastructure
development up to 2050, and to assess potential effects of an "electricity
highway" at member state level.
The EC has estimated that Eur200 billion needs to be spent on energy
infrastructure by 2050, including "projects of common interest" that are to
contribute to identified infrastructure priorities and impact on more than
one EU country.
Ensto-e said the project would build on the TSOs' existing 10-year
network development plan and other initiatives like the North Seas Offshore
Grid Initiative, which seeks to foster cooperation between countries
bordering the North Sea and evaluate the potential of building an offshore
supergrid to connect them.
--Paul Whitehead, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Jonathan Dart, email@example.com