Ocean grids around Europe
Nov 3, 2008 - By Frederik Groeman,
Natalia Moldovan & Peter Vaessen, KEMA - leonardo-energy.org
Several European countries have a
policy to encourage the development of renewable
en-ergy sources. This is identified in e.g. the
European green paper Energy strategy for a sus-tainable,
competitive and secure energy supply (March 2006).
In the transition towards a European sustainable
energy system for the future and to reduce the dependency
of im-ported primary energy sources such as oil
and gas, the development of offshore wind power
is an essential element. EWEA assumes that almost
120,000 MW offshore wind power will be realized
in the next two decades, amounting to 10% of the
installed generating capaicty. Apart from offshore
wind energy other offshore renewable energy sources
such as wave en-ergy, tidal energy and some experimental
technologies of offshore energy have been con-sidered.
Recent blackouts within Europe have
shown that there is a need for increased European
co-ordination regarding the transmission of electricity
including aspects related to interconnec-tions.
In the EU technology platform Smart Grids , attention
is paid to the networks of the fu-ture to ensure
that they can accommodate and facilitate large amounts
of renewable energy, both distributed and concentrated.
Following the European Smart Grids
line of thinking, Airtricity has proposed a European
off-shore super grid (HVDC based on Voltage Source
Converter technology), combining the grid integration
of offshore wind farms with an interconnection grid
between countries at sea. One could extend the role
of this grid and connect all “ocean power” to it.
The supergrid could then be part of the European
backbone to connect and transmit bulk renewable
power from remote generation sites, even as far
as North-Africa (Desertec).
The goal of this paper is to discuss
"Ocean Grids", grids at sea at a conceptual level.
The idea behind Ocean Grids is to provide an offshore
backbone for the mainland transmission networks
on one hand, and connection points for offshore
wind power stations on the other hand. This will
include offshore wind energy and other potential
energy sources at sea.