Published on October 31st, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan1
$12.7 Billion for Transmission in Europe (Boon for Wind & Solar Energy)
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.