'Clear goals for interconnection and the delivery of an internal electricity market must be the priority of the next EU Institutions. We need a network not a patchwork.'
In their Declaration of Edinburgh, CEOs of Europe's leading energy industrial initiative call for a single electricity market to drive competitiveness, reduce cost and engender economic growth.
At their inaugural Summit on 25 and 26 February in Edinburgh, the CEOs of the Friends of the Supergrid ('FOSG') took the opportunity to discuss the case for Supergrid, and the need for clear EU goals for interconnection and infrastructure development, with the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister of Scotland, the Rt Hon Michael Moore MP, Special Representative for Europe for the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, and with representatives of the Italian Presidency of the EU, and the UK Green Investment Bank. The Summit was chaired by former EU Parliament President, Pat Cox.
Speaking at the Summit, Marcello del Brenna, chairman of FOSG said:
'The EU faces a global challenge to increase its competitiveness and to compete with the growing economies of China and the USA. To deliver cheaper energy for European consumers and industry we need a single electricity market with very much more interconnection.
'Very large amounts of clean, low carbon electricity can be generated across Europe and shipped to demand centres in an internal market, so that German consumers can use electricity generated from North Sea marine renewables, Iberian solar or Scandinavian hydro.
'This approach - using a Supergrid as the backbone - will enhance competitiveness, drive down costs and create growth. The same cannot be said for the current policies of many Member States, to insulate themselves from a single market, where their consumers have to pay artificially high prices for what should be a common European good.
'Here in Edinburgh we are calling on EU Heads of Government to follow the lead of the Scottish and UK governments and put interconnection at the heart of their policy making. We need clear goals for interconnection and infrastructure development as part of the 2030 energy and climate package, so that Europe can realise the internal energy market, reduce its electricity prices and optimise its generation mix in order to improve efficiency, exploit indigenous resources and reach its decarbonisation objectives.
'European companies are currently among the world leaders in advanced grid technologies, manufacturing and development. Much of that research is happening here in Scotland. They have the expertise and capacity to deliver the infrastructure required for Europe's changing energy system to 2030 and beyond.'
About Friends of the Supergrid
The Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) is a group of companies which have a mutual interest in promoting and influencing the policy and regulatory framework required to enable large-scale interconnection in Europe. With a special insight into the technology needed to create Supergrid the Friends will be empowered to build the know-how to deliver it in practice.
FOSG combines companies in sectors that will deliver the High Voltage infrastructure and related technology, together with companies that will develop, install, own and operate that infrastructure. The risks of providing this new transmission service will be reduced by the early knowledge gained during the policy formation and design stages. FOSG is able to present ‘cradle to grave' interconnection solutions to policy makers and others looking to develop energy policy across Europe through to 2050.
FOSG counts on 20 members including: ABB, ACS-Cobra, ALSTOM, Bernard Energy Advocacy, CESI, DONG Energy, Elia Group, General Electric, Hochtief Solutions, Intel, Mainstream Renewable Power, National Grid, Nexans, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Prysmian Group, REN, RTE, Siemens, Visser & Smit Marine Contracting and wpd offshore.