Even if it may sound like science fiction, the vision of the European Union is to be able to power the entire Continent with Green Energy: from solar panels to wind and wave turbines, from geothermal to hydroelectric power stations.
The “supergrid” project will lie from the North Sea, going down to the Sahara Desert, from the Iceland’s volcanoes to the tides of Finland, from the winds of Spain to the Black Sea and to the sun of Middle East.
Even though this project is only in the concept phase, it will turn into reality in the next decades because Europe is polluting too much nowadays and because it is heavily dependent on Russian gas. Conventional energies will decrease in favor of greener ones. The project has grown interests all over Europe, and has been gaining ground between policymakers like France President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and United Kingdom prime-minister, Gordon Brown, who sustain the “supergrid” concept to make it reality.
Adam Bruce, chairman of the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), thinks that the European “supergrid” is only a matter of time: “We are only limited by our own ambition. The capacity is there. There is the potential for wind alone to supply 50 % or more of our energy needs.”
Gregor Czisch, a German academic at the University of Kassel who developed the concept, claims it would cost EUR45 billion (£40.5 billion) to build. By comparing costs, at the moment the cheapest energy to harvest is wind.
But these are only dreams for some countries, e.g. United Kingdom, which do not really have a plan to switch to green energy. UK produces only about 6-7% green energy at the moment and target is to have by 2020 about 35-40%, which at the moment does not seem possible. Despite the Government’s talk of a green energy revolution, Britain’s renewable energy industry is in crisis. Which means UK will drop out of the “supergrid” dream. And they are not alone. Most countries are in the same situation.
There are many issues governments need to deal with, but someday the Continent’s “supergrid” will become reality. Let’s just hope it won’t be too late as the long term benefits are greater than the short term financial problems.