This webinar explored the unique role electricity grids play in the energy transition. We kicked off with a general overview of how energy systems are evolving while we add large amounts of renewables, in particular variable wind and solar, including the fast-growing offshore wind. We then dived into operational requirements for a well-functioning electricity system and shared examples of related technical solutions that are already being deployed.
This event was also featured as part of Climate Week NYC under the title: “Grids for Climate: Connecting Renewables to Achieve Our Climate Goals”.
Sharing these insights with a large, engaged audience has never been more crucial, as electricity grids have become one of the main bottlenecks in further expanding renewables. This is largely due to a very limited understanding of their pivotal role that, already today, allows us to manage a system largely based on renewable energy sources.
Nevertheless, the fear of grid instability, blackouts, and economic implications, often becomes the reason for halting and delaying renewables expansion. Similarly, the lack of electricity grid capacity can result in stranded assets and financial risks for renewable energy developers and, ultimately conservative approaches to the expansion of renewables.
This first session of the Connecting Energies: Training Series for European Civil Society stressed the urgent need to upgrade and expand electricity grids globally in order to enable the efficient integration of renewable energy sources. At the same time, we openly discussed the impact electricity infrastructure has on wildlife and biodiversity and the measures grid operators can take to not only mitigate environmental impact but use the energy infrastructure to enhance biodiversity.