The Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) have called for more action to be taken by the European Commission to hasten the development of a single market in electricity and the construction of physical interconnection projects. Interconnection objectives for 2030 that would sit alongside targets for carbon emissions reductions would help deliver more secure, affordable and low-carbon sources of energy.
In its response to the UK House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee inquiry on the Balance of Competencies between the UK and the EU on Energy, FOSG has reiterated its key messages in relation to cross-border electricity infrastructure and internal market issues.
Deeper integration of EU energy markets is needed to deliver competitive sources of low carbon electricity. There are still too many “electrical islands” – regions with isolated grid systems. Interconnected capacity between the Iberian Peninsula and France barely exceeds 1 GW. In the case of the UK, to date, there are only 4 interconnectors with 4GW transmission capacity. With better interconnection countries like the UK can supply low cost low carbon electricity to consumers across the EU, while using existing capacity in those markets to help balance variable supply.
EU regulations, particularly the TEN-E infrastructure regulation in the Third Energy Package to develop a pan-European electricity grid, and funding programmes, such as the Connecting Europe Facility, will be an effective tool in delivering the internal electricity market. They will also be essential in laying the foundation for the European Supergrid. FOSG therefore applauds the TEN-E regulation supporting cross-border electricity interconnection projects – Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and requiring Member States to expedite permitting and planning procedures.
The development of an integrated pan-European network will deliver energy more efficiently and lower energy bills for consumers by allowing Member States to buy from cheaper sources. Building Supergrid is the only way Europe can achieve its climate targets, and enhance its competitiveness.