Silicon Republic: What challenges are there in creating a renewables-led European super grid?


Nations across Europe are rapidly building renewable energy sites for their national grids, but challenges lie ahead.

With the EU’s Green Deal now in full swing and countries across the continent agreeing to slash their greenhouse gas emissions significantly, a revolution is underway to connect nations to cleaner electricity. While the most obvious form of this is the rapid production of renewable energy sites, such as wind and solar farms or hydroelectric dams, a less discussed and challenging task is getting renewable electricity on the grid.

For the last century, we have lived with the concept that national grids are powered by a largely centralised, limited number of fossil fuel power plants. Now, adding dozens – if not hundreds – of smaller solar farms or wind farms to a grid poses a complex and difficult problem.

These kinds of smaller renewable energy sites were recently put forward by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) as a cost-effective way of achieving carbon emission reduction targets as they are less likely to cause local unrest in the same way that larger projects could.

One EU-wide project hoping to find a way to create a pan-European grid that would provide a steady supply of renewably sourced electricity is EU-SysFlex. Established in 2017, the project is being…read more