The European super grid is a possible future super grid that would ultimately interconnect the various European countries and the regions around Europe's borders – including North Africa, Kazakhstan, and Turkey – with a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power grid.〔
It is envisaged that a European super grid would:〔
* lower the cost of power in all participating countries by allowing the entire region to share the most efficient power plants;
* pool load variability and power station unreliability, reducing the margin of inefficient spinning reserve and standby that have to be supplied;
* allow for wider use of renewable energy, particularly wind energy, from the concept that "it is always windy somewhere" – in particular it tends to be windy in the summer in North Africa, and windy in the winter in Europe;
* allow wide sharing of the total European hydro power resource, which is about 6 weeks of full load European output.
The most comprehensive study has been carried out by Dr Gregor Czish, of Kassel University.〔(Talk by Dr Gregor Czisch at the 5th Claverton Energy Conference, House of Commons June 19th 2009 | Claverton Group )〕〔(Why Do We Need The Supergrid, What Is Its Scope And What Will It Achieve? | Claverton Group )〕 His study optimised a vast grid covering North Africa, Eastern Europe, Norway, and Iceland. His study ran a number of scenarios, wind, csp, nuclear etc., and the optimisation showed that all European power could largely come from wind energy, with relatively low amounts of combustion plant needed during universal low wind periods. Furthermore, the study showed that no new storage would be required. Existing hydro is sufficient. The total cost, including for new combustion plant, fuelled by biomass, the cost of the interconnections, the inefficiency of starting and stopping the combustion plant, all indicated a power price at the same as Germany was paying in 2005.
A number of other specific schemes have been proposed to create super grids of varying extent within Europe. These include:
*Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan involving Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Norway.〔(A European Supergrid ) Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, published September 2011, accessed 2011-10-03〕
*Europagrid, proposed by Europagrid Limited to link various European countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Norway.
*North Sea Offshore Grid, an active proposal by the European Commission, first proposed in November 2008 as a building block towards a Europe-wide super grid〔
〕 involving Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg.
*''Low Grid'', proposed by Greenpeace to link the countries of Central Europe, particularly Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.〔(Battle of the grids ) Greenpeace International, published 11-01-18, accessed 2011-10-03〕
*''High Grid'', proposed by Greenpeace to link Europe and North Africa, emphasising the installation of solar power in the South of Europe.〔
*ISLES, an active proposal, at feasibility stage as of September 2011, to link Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland with off-shore renewable energy generation.〔
*The ''All Islands Approach'', based on cooperation between the countries of the British Isles.〔
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