An industry with an annual turnover of over 291billion€, employing more than 1.1million people mostly in Europe has today called on European decision makers to accelerate the delivery of the infrastructure to achieve the transition to a pan-European electricity market. With the most of the world’s leading grid and cable companies based in Europe, the successful development of a large scale European electricity grid industry represents a huge potential global prize, with plans for long distance grids and Supergrids in Europe, Asia and America. At their second conference “Supergrid 2013”, the Friends of the Supergrid have restated the importance of creating a European grid network to capture the large amounts of renewable energy which will help reduce consumers bills, enable the delivery of 2020 targets and beyond and enhance Europe’s energy security and independence. In an update to their 2012 technical report the Friends have shown that regulatory uncertainty not technology remains the main barrier to delivering an integrated grid network in Europe.
Opening the conference, Friends of the Supergrid President, Dr Eddie O’Connor stated: “The lack of Supergrid is penalising European consumers, holding back the delivery of a single electricity market in Europe and compromising our ability to decarbonise the power sector. There can be no transition without transmission to a future unthreatened by climate change” Delivering the keynote address, world renowned economist, Jeremy Rifkin said: “Today, Internet technology and renewable energies are beginning to merge to create a new infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that will change the way power is transmitted and distributed in the 21st century. In the coming era, hundreds of millions of people will produce their own renewable energy in their homes, offices, and factories and share green electricity with each other in an “Energy Internet” supported by Supergrids just like we now generate and share information online.”