Smart grids, demand response, flexible wind turbines and energy storage are all making it cheaper and easier to integrate renewables into the grid, according to Renewables Grid Initiative and WindEurope.

The two organisations told the Grids Meet Renewables conference in Brussels that electricity infrastructure needs to be extended in a smarter way in order to meet the European Union’s target of sourcing 35% of its energy from renewables by 2030.

They said that renewable energy companies and grid operators need to work more closely together and that electricity grids should be prioritised over gas grids when money from the Connecting Europe Facility is allocated.

The software used to run power grids also needs to be upgraded so that wind turbines can be switched on and off when needed.

Investment is ‘essential’

The two organisations called on governments to publish details of the how much renewable energy they will deploy post-2020 as part of their National

Energy & Climate Plans in order to give clarity for grid operators over infrastructure projects.

Giles Dickson, Chief Executive at trade body Wind Europe, said: “The investments in new electricity grids are essential to ensure Europe can fully exploit its wind resource.

“A smarter approach to how we develop the grids will allow wind energy to provide an ever-greater part of consumers’ energy needs.”

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