No matter how much wind and solar power is generated, the energy transition cannot be achieved without a built-for-purpose electricity infrastructure. Gaps in the interconnections of Europe’s grid network and lack of capacity on the wires where it is needed most will halt green electrification of energy.
Power system operators have a plan. The issue is implementation
Connecting central Europe's transmission network to northern Africa and Scandinavia will increase security, but stronger internal infrastructure is also needed
LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown Europe's grid operators where transmission links need to be strengthened as more electricity from variable sources enters the system
Transmission bottlenecks, both internally and across its national borders, are an increasing problem for the further growth of renewable energy
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Decarbonisation of heating requires switching from systems and appliances that combust fossil fuels to those that rely on renewable energy. Nowhere is the switch more challenging to achieve for existing building stock than in the UK. If it can be done there, it can be done anywhere
As the United States legislates for higher shares of renewables, the development of its straggling and disjointed grid network to match its clean energy ambitions is lagging behind
It is the affordability of renewables that makes direct and indirect electrification of heating, transportation and some industrial processes possible. Ridding the world of carbon pollution is no longer a pipedream, but a job to get done
Denmark has led the way on decarbonisation of heating, with a rapid transition away from fossil fuels aided by its large scale adoption of heating networks over the past 40 years. Instead of exchanging individual heating appliances in every home and commercial building, the Danes are centrally converting their heat networks to renewable energy, saving citizens a pile of money in the process
A new transmission line across the Baltic Sea shows that a more integrated European power network is not only steadily evolving, but that innovative approaches to infrastructure design can bring down the cost of the energy transition.
Three concerns are said to be hindering the uptake of electric passenger cars—high purchase cost, fear of a flat battery, and lack of charging infrastructure. But cost has fallen, the range of car batteries now rivals that of a full tank of fuel and recharging a depleted battery when the need arises is proving to be easier than expected
Without a European grid up to the task of not only meeting more demand for electricity, but also assimilating it from distributed renewables, green electrification of heating and transport is stymied from the start. Decarbonisation requires new infrastructure, yet the public is having none of it.