RGI members originate from a variety of European countries, consisting of TSOs from Belgium (Elia), France (RTE), Germany (50Hertz and TenneT), Italy (Terna), the Netherlands (TenneT), Spain (Red Eléctrica de España), Switzerland (Swissgrid) and Norway (Statnett); and NGOs such as WWF International, BirdLife Europe, Fundación Renovables, Germanwatch, Legambiente, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and Natuur&Milieu. RGI was launched in July 2009.
Find out more about RGI's strategic objectives and organisational enablers in our Strategic Plan, which can be downloaded on the bottom of this page.
The share of renewable energy in the European power system is expected to significantly increase in the coming years and decades. Based on the Renewable Energy Directive, it is assumed that renewable energy will provide about 30-35% of all electricity consumed in the EU by 2020. Driven by energy and climate security concerns, this share of renewable energy is likely to become much larger post-2020 and be the main component of the European power mix. Also, a decarbonised power sector is a precondition to meet the mitigation target agreed by the European Council 2009 to reduce emissions in all industrialised countries by 80-95% by 2050.
The question is no longer whether such an expansion of renewable energy is technically feasible, but rather what are the necessary steps to implement it without endangering the current level of system reliability. One of the key elements is an adequate upgrade and expansion of the electric grid. New strategic interconnections are required to transmit renewable electricity from remote generation sites to consumption centres and storage sites. Grid extension is an essential precondition for substantive renewable energy integration from both decentralised and utility scale installations.
At a time of economic distress and mounting pressure to address the widespread environmental, economic, and geopolitical consequences of our excessive reliance on CO2 emitting electricity production, the case for sustainable investments in renewable energy generation and in the transmission grid has never been stronger.
Bringing the necessary transformation to the power sector will require strong coalitions across different sectors in society.