At the request of the Royal Society, Dr Paul Lewin of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory has been a participating member of the recent European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) Working Group considering the implications of creating a European-wide electrical transmission network.
The Working Group recently presented its report to the EC Energy Commissioner at a meeting in Brussels, where it was very well received.
European energy policy seeks to achieve a pan-European energy market and a substantially increased contribution of renewable sources of electricity. The EASAC Working Group examined the developments required in grid planning, operation and infrastructure to support the process towards a united European energy grid.
Dr Paul Lewin comments: 'There is a general concern about security of supply, that is having energy resources available to generate electricity. However, this report is more concerned with operational security of supply, that is how can we ensure that the future infrastructure across Europe will deliver electrical energy from the point of generation to the user. For example, in terms of future renewable energy resources, the system must be capable of being operated in such a way that wind energy generated in Northern Europe can be supplied to Southern Europe and conversely solar energy generated in the south supplied to the north.'
The aim of the report is to advise on the steps that need to be taken to produce a European network which is reliable and secure whilst facilitating the increase in renewable generation.
The report was published in May 2009.