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Clean Power transmission projects desertec

Published on October 31st, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


$12.7 Billion for Transmission in Europe (Boon for Wind & Solar Energy)

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October 31st, 2011 by Zachary Shahan
transmission projects desertec

The European Commission recently confirmed that €9.1 billion ($12.7 billion) for transmission networks would be included in the EU’s 2014-2020 budget plans. This is part of a €50-billion ($70-billion) infrastructure package. This is a big boon for (and probably largely driven by) offshore and onshore wind power projects across the continent.

Of course, such big numbers aren’t useful to most of us unless put into perspective, right? Well, this is a massive increase from the EU’s current budget for transmission networks, €163 million ($228 million).

It’s not yet clear how the funds will be split. The networks are for electricity, gas, and oil.

“While [the €9.1 billion] is a substantial increase in funding for what has been for a long time under-funded, it remains to be seen how this pot of money will be divided up between electricity, gas, oil and carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure projects,” European Wind Energy Association chief executive Christian Kjaer said.

“The inclusion of CCS — a technology still not commercially viable and one for which the infrastructure needs are unknown — is strange in itself.”

With the EU’s strong commitment to renewable energy growth and it’s ambitious wind and solar energy plans, I imagine a good chunk of this will benefits those clean energy options. And let’s not forget that there is a HUGE renewable energy project, DESERTEC, planned for Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Europe that will require significant transmission infrastructure investments. Thanks to New Energy News for sharing the DESERTEC transmission image at the top of the page.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Anonymous

    Take a look at those yellow dots that indicate where solar farms are expected to be built. They stretch from eastern Saudi Arabia to the Atlantic, across six time zones.

    That means that the normal ~7 hour solar day close to the equator will be extended to 13 or more hours. Stick those panels on trackers and they’ll produce an hour or two earlier and later.

    Europe will be able to pull solar for more than half of every day.

    And tidal isn’t shown on this map. The UK is going after tidal very aggressively. They now have functioning turbines in the water and pouring power into their grid.

    The current money pegged for transmission are the early phase of Desertec (or whatever it ends up being called). Solar plants are already being built in North Africa and a HVDC underwater transmission line is in the planning stage. The first solar installations will serve North Africa and then power will be shipped north to Europe. This is not a plan to rip off Africa in order to benefit Europe, but a plan to help both continents. North Africa will be able to pull power from Europe when the Sun is not shining.

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