The Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) welcome the EC Staff Working Paper presented to the European Energy Ministers on 10 June about the status of its October legislative proposals for an Energy Infrastructure Package.
However, FOSG considers that the Package should look beyond 2020 if it is to help design and attract investment for a truly Pan-European electricity network, the Supergrid. 2020 is today and 2050 is tomorrow.
FOSG recognises that in the last 14 years since the liberalisation of the electricity sector began, progress in realising necessary energy infrastructure investments has been very slow or non existent; becoming one of the most important impediments to the creation of a single electricity market. This investment is now vital to reach the EU’s 2050 goals to decarbonise the power sector and achieve ambitious emissions targets, and to reflect the support for clean energy shown by European citizens in the future energy mix.
The upcoming EC legislative proposals for reaching the 2020 objectives must give political backing as well as a stable regulatory framework to enable this investment in electricity infrastructure. However, FOSG believes that it is vital to go beyond 2020 and start designing the 2050 European electricity network (the Supergrid). The first stages of Supergrid – linking countries in the North Sea basin as well as projects in other EU regions – will form part of the investments needed by 2020, and should already form the transmission backbone of the decarbonised power sector that will be reached by 2050.
Such an approach will give regulatory stability and a forward looking investment climate to the industry that will be necessary to help achieve the 2050 objectives. Moreover, the design of such a pan-European infrastructure will, if started now, be developed for the benefit of all European consumers.
Trying to reach completely new energy objectives by using the procedures of the last 50 years will not deliver a transformed and decarbonised energy system.
FOSG’s initial ideas on the possible design, financing and regulatory principles that could apply to the future European Supergrid can be downloaded at: www.friendsofthesupergrid.eu
Notes to editor:
About Friends of the Supergrid
The Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) is a group of companies and organisations which have a mutual interest in promoting and influencing the policy and regulatory framework required to enable large-scale interconnection in Europe. With a special insight into the technology needed to create Supergrid the Friends will be empowered to build the know-how to deliver it in practice.
FOSG combines companies in sectors that will deliver the High Voltage infrastructure and related technology, together with companies that will develop, install, own and operate that infrastructure. The Friends will design the physical equipment, and work alongside the companies that will build the structures at sea, so that both are empowered to compete and win. The risks of providing this new transmission service will be reduced by the early knowledge gained during the policy formation and design stages.
FOSG is able to present ‘cradle to grave’ interconnection solutions to policy makers and others looking to develop energy policy across Europe through to 2050.
FOSG counts on 21 members including: 3E, ACS-Cobra, ALSTOM, CESI, CG Power Systems, DEME Blue Energy, DONG Energy, Elia, General Electric, Hochtief Construction AG, Mainstream Renewable Power, UK National Grid, Nexans, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Prysmian Cables & Systems, Red Eléctrica of Spain, RTE-France, Siemens, Vattenfall, Visser & Smit Marine Contracting and wpd offshore.