The new production areas of fast developing renewables are by trend more far away from the consumer centres than formerly the conventional power plants.
The decentralized new producers aren’t equally spread over the country and not always close to the cities. Not only distribution grids have to evolve to connect the new producers, but also new wide-area transmission grids are therefore needed. Experts call for a network of new wide-area power highways or super-grids, also to integrate renewables.
Over the last 20 years various visions of a supergrid spanning the European continent have emerged. They would enable Europe to make the best use of regions with huge solar, wind or hydro potential, while at the same time promoting a truly competitive European electricity market.
Within the Elia Group, a number of projects -currently being implemented- begin to form the nucleus of a European supergrid. Like the various North-South DC links planned in Germany and between Germany and Belgium and new offshore cross-border connectors. While these projects may look like classical grid projects of purely national interest, they are at the same time, the first elements of a supergrid architecture.