A European wide ‘supergrid’ could cut almost a third from energy costs according to a new study from the UCD Energy Institute. TechXplore reports: Evaluating the capabilities of Europe’s energy network, the study, commissioned by SuperNode, found that a pan-European transmission system would reduce energy costs by 32 percent compared to the current approach. The 32 percent cost reduction identified is borne primarily from the expansion of European power flows — derestricting them to allow the location of renewable generation to be optimized, thereby significantly decreasing the total installed capacity. While this scenario proposes an increase in transmission capacity, the costs were found to be insignificant compared to the cost savings in generation investment over the same period.
This study was an extension of work carried out by SuperNod, based on their Energy Scenario for Europe 2050 modeling — which aims to predict future energy trends across the continent. Its modelling work, validated and extended by the UCD study and facilitated through ConsultUCD, demonstrates the net benefit of large investment into the development of new transmission assets to ensure more efficient utilization of Europe’s renewable resources; highlighting bottlenecks where investment is required, such as higher levels of grid storage. […] Another key finding from the UCD study is that the existing transmission system is not fit for purpose for Europe’s energy future. Without accelerated investment in infrastructure, Europe will face challenges with load shedding, generation curtailment and excessively high emissions. The failure to achieve decarbonisation targets will not just undermine international climate efforts but will adversely affect Europe’s economies and ability to compete on a global scale, the report notes. The study has been broken into two parts (PDFs).