Business Green has an article on a new group promoting the creation of a European super grid - European energy giants unveil Supergrid vision.
Ten of Europe's largest energy and engineering firms today joined forces to launch a new lobby group committed to advancing plans for a pan-European Supergrid capable of supporting new renewable energy capacity.
The Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) group brings together renewable energy developers, producers of advanced transmission cables, engineering firms and grid operators.
The founding members include 3E, AREVA T&D, DEME Blue Energy, Elia, Hochtief Construction AG, Mainstream Renewable Power, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Prysmian Cables & Systems, Siemens and Visser & Smit Marine Contracting.
Speaking at the launch of the new group, Mainstream Renewable Power's chief executive Dr Eddie O'Connor said the coalition of companies could play a key role in promoting an idea that will be essential to the long-term decarbonisation of Europe's economies.
"The UK government has recently shown its commitment to large-scale offshore wind by announcing the development of up to 50GW by 2020," he said. "We now need to integrate this huge resource into Europe to enable the open trade of electricity between member states. The FOSG is uniquely placed to influence policy-makers towards creating the Supergrid and, ultimately, change how we generate, transmit and consume electricity for generations to come."
Experts have long argued that the development of a Supergrid will make it far easier for grid operators to manage intermittent energy supplies from renewable resources such as offshore wind farms, allowing them to export excess power when winds are good and import energy from other regions when poor winds result in less power.
The concept is now climbing up the political agenda after nine EU member states, including the UK and Germany, signed up to the N orth Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI) late last year, agreeing to co-operate on the development of a grid that will allow them to share energy produced by new offshore wind farms.
Meanwhile, in Germany the Destertec consortium of firms is working on plans for a similar supergrid designed to import power from solar farms in North Africa to much of continental Europe.