As Europe targets the reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, a new political reality takes shape in the form of a huge electricity super-grid dedicated to renewable energy.|
Plans are drawn by nine nations for setting up a super-grid of powerful green energy projects scattered all across the North Sea in order to provide renewable power to the mainland.
The gigantic new submarine cable will link the wind turbines off the coast of Scotland, the solar plants from Germany, the hydro power plants from Norway and the wave power plants off the coasts of Belgium and Denmark.
The North Sea neighboring countries - Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK will eventually connect this envisaged North Sea super-grid to the similarly huge scale Desertec grid resulting thus in supplying continent-scale solar power from Africa to Europe; via Spain and Portugal.
The widely scattered North Sea grid would render overall production independent of wind intermittency: one single plant may be stopped by local calm weather, but if the turbines are placed at large enough distances, the wind is always blowing somewhere, ensuring thus a stable power supply.
The cost of this extremely efficient network of submarine transmission cables would is approximately $43 billion US (€30 bn). Currently there are more than 100GW of off-shore wind energy European projects under development in Europe, amounting to about 10% of European electricity consumption.