The recent start-up of the grid interconnection between the UK and the Netherlands is a major step forward for a better interconnected electricity grid in Europe. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) is a strong supporter of an integrated power grid in Europe and believes that the BritNed link, which has just gone live, is very significant.
“The Eur600 million investment for the 260 kilometres long High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable with a power capacity of 1000 Megawatt between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands will provide a substantial boost to electricity trade between these two market regions. This will ultimately serve for an optimised power system operation and smoothen out the variable output of wind power plants over a large geographical area,” explains Paul Wilczek, EWEA grids advisor. “Europe is still far from a truly integrated electricity market, but every step towards a single market helps the cost efficient integration of renewable electricity generation like wind power.”
Another recent development was the day-ahead market coupling of the regions of Central-Western Europe, including France, Germany, the Benelux countries and Scandinavia last November. “In addition we now need functioning intraday markets which are crucial for efficient integration of large amounts of wind energy and for cost-efficient system operation in general,” he adds.