Graduate Students Give AGU’s
Distance Degree and Certificate Programs All “A”s!
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SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE
To reduce costs and lessen risks, individual countries and governments would ideally begin to
approach these projects in unison, Mr. Acke says.
“It will cost a lot less to simultaneously create 27
low-carbon economies than to do it one at a time.”
That will require cooperation and a commit-
ment to energy sharing, though, particularly in
the development of the European “super grid”
that lies at the heart of the solution. By creating a
transmission grid that crosses boundaries, power
load balances can be achieved by leveraging the
continent’s renewable energy diversity—from
Norway’s vast hydropower capabilities to Spain’s
massive solar resources.
“The necessary expansion of the grid is a
huge challenge to the green community,” Martin
Rocholl, PhD, ECF policy director and program
director for transport, declared at “The Great
Transformation—Greening the Economy” conference in May.
One of the biggest issues with renewable
energy is the lack of a consistent supply, which
Dr. Rocholl argues can become reliable if European countries learn to share.
“We can show that if we Europeans work
together, if we use the different sources that are
spread around the continent and combine them
with each other, we can actually reach this enormous aim of having a power sector that does not
emit any greenhouse gases,” he said at the United
Nations’ April climate meeting, according to
Deutsche Welle’s online news service.
Some projects are already underway, including
the construction of an undersea power link that
would connect the three Baltic states of Lithuania,
Latvia and Estonia to the Scandinavian energy grid.
Another effort will connect wind farms and other
renewable energy sources across the North Sea.
Some countries are pushing back against the
idea of cross-boundary energy transmission,
though. Authorities in France and Spain have
expressed opposition to building transmission
lines across the Pyrénées mountain range that
separates the two nations.
“A lot of countries want to maintain self-
reliance, so it’s important to paint a picture of the
benefits of an interconnected system,” Mr. Nut-
hall says. “The economics of these changes are
clear and affordable, and the technology is already
available. Success will depend upon political will.”
With concrete details and marked milestones,
the Roadmap could point the way to winning
over those skeptical stakeholders—and securing
the necessary funds. —Sarah Fister Gale
focus on energy-efficiency measures, interregional
network build-out and local smart grids. It also
recommends coordination between the power
market operations among European Union states.