European super grid

The European super grid is a possible future super grid that would ultimately interconnect the various European countries and the regions around Europe's borders – including North Africa, Kazakhstan, and Turkey – with a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power grid.[1]

A conceptual plan of a European super grid linking renewable energy projects like DESERTEC & Medgrid across North Africa, the Middle East and Europe and could serve as the backbone for the hypothetical supersmart grid.
  Existing links
  Under construction
See also the List of HVDC projects in Europe, which would eventually be part of European Supergrid.

It is envisaged that a European super grid would:[1]

  • lower the cost of power in all participating countries by allowing the entire region to share the most efficient power plants;
  • pool load variability and power station unreliability, reducing the margin of inefficient spinning reserve and standby that have to be supplied;
  • allow for wider use of renewable energy, particularly wind energy, from the concept that "it is always windy somewhere" – in particular it tends to be windy in the summer in North Africa, and windy in the winter in Europe;
  • allow wide sharing of the total European hydro power resource, which is about 6 weeks of full load European output;
  • decrease Europe's dependence on imported fuels.

Proposed schemesEdit

The most comprehensive study has been carried out by Dr Gregor Czish, of Kassel University.[2][3] His study optimised a vast grid covering North Africa, Eastern Europe, Norway, and Iceland. His study ran a number of scenarios, wind, concentrating solar power (CSP), nuclear etc., and the optimisation showed that all European power could largely come from wind energy, with relatively low amounts of combustion plant needed during universal low wind periods. Furthermore, the study showed that no new storage would be required. Existing hydro is sufficient. The total cost, including for new combustion plant, fuelled by biomass, the cost of the interconnections, the inefficiency of starting and stopping the combustion plant, all indicated a power price at the same as Germany was paying in 2005.

A number of other specific schemes have been proposed to create super grids of varying extent within Europe. These include:

Related schemesEdit

On Nov 24, 2011, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Medgrid and Desertec Industry Initiative (Dii) to study, design and promote an interconnected electrical grid with Desertec & Medgrid projects.[10][11][12][13] The medgrid together with Desertec would serve as the backbone of the European super grid and the benefits of investing in HVDC technology are being assessed to reach the final goal – the supersmart grid.[14]


A report by Pöyry stated that a super grid would only partially reduce the problems from intermittent renewable energy production. While it found that spreading renewables across Europe produced a smoothing effect, large scale weather patterns would impact many European countries at similar times. This still results in large highs and lows of energy output. However this report does not consider the super grid covering the much larger area as the Czisch study, which would further smooth energy output to some extent. [15][16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Why Do We Need The Supergrid, What Is Its Scope And What Will It Achieve?". Claverton Energy Group. 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  2. ^ Talk by Dr Gregor Czisch at the 5th Claverton Energy Conference, House of Commons June 19th 2009 | Claverton Group
  3. ^ Why Do We Need The Supergrid, What Is Its Scope And What Will It Achieve? | Claverton Group
  4. ^ a b c A European Supergrid Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, published September 2011, accessed 2011-10-03
  5. ^ "Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Second Strategic Energy Review: an EU energy security and solidarity action plan {SEC(2008) 2870} {SEC(2008) 2871} {SEC(2008) 2872}" (PDF). European Commission. November 2008: 4–6. Retrieved 2010-01-31. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ a b Battle of the grids Greenpeace International, published 11-01-18, accessed 2011-10-03
  7. ^ "Abengoa signs Medgrid agreement in Paris". Dec 20, 2010. Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Medgrid to Study Developing a Mediterranean Power Grid for Solar Energy". Bloomberg. Dec 10, 2010. Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.
  9. ^ "Medgrid – the new French Desertec". Dec 13, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-12-23. Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.
  10. ^ "Huge medgrid joins giant solar desertec plan". Nov 24, 2011. Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.
  11. ^ "EU Commission welcomes Desertec and Medgrid cooperation on solar energy in North Africa and the Middle East". Nov 24, 2011. Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.
  12. ^ "Presentation from DII website: Medgrid Co developmental plan with Desertec project Secretary" (PDF). 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-08. Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.
  13. ^ Lewis, Barbara (Nov 24, 2011). "Arab Spring a short-term problem for solar-Medgrid". Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.
  14. ^ "Desertec and Medgrid: Competitive or compatible?". Mar 11, 2011. Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. Retrieved Nov 27, 2011.
  15. ^ "The challenges of intermittency in North West European power markets. The impacts when wind and solar deployment reach their target levels" (PDF). Pöyry. March 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  16. ^ "New Study Confirms REF Intermittency Findings" (Press release). Renewable Energy Foundation. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2012-04-12.

External linksEdit