Large European Power Grid Companies Support the Full Integration of Expanding Renewable Electricity Generation

European grid companies from Belgium, France, UK, and Switzerland, Elia, RTE, National Grid, and Swissgrid respectively, have joined the Renewables-Grid-Initiative (RGI) that is pleased to welcome them and looks forward to counting on their support and professional experience to tackle the future challenges.

In their economic analyses on the options for a decarbonised power sector in Europe by 2050, McKinsey and the European Climate Foundation confirm the technical, economic and security based feasibility of 40, 60, 80 as well as 100% renewable electricity scenarios in Europe by 2050. It is seconded by a similar study by PricewaterhouseCoopers showing that the complete shift towards 100% renewable electricity in Europe is economically and technically feasible while keeping the lights on. However, both reports identify the urgent need for a substantive increase in transmission capacity to integrate large amounts of clean renewable energy sources.

The Renewables-Grid-Initiative welcomes the analysis provided by both studies and confirms the technical possibility of building a power system largely relying on renewable sources while maintaining system reliability and stability, provided the necessary grid developments can be performed in due time. The electricity sector has to change rapidly if we want to reach the European renewable energy targets – an almost doubling of renewable electricity to about 35% between now and 2020. This transformation will induce considerable challenges for transmission system operators (TSOs) and investors in the current regulatory situation. RGI strongly encourages the best possible use of the existing grid and recognises the need for a strategic participatory planning effort to win public and political support for critical grid expansion.