Because of growing tensions with Russia, the European Union is working on a supergrid that would connect all 28 member countries and provide them with insurance against power blackouts, Climate News Network reported.
As part of a wide effort to make the EU less dependant upon power imported from non-EU countries, 40 organizations from research, industry, and utility fields are “combining in a €63 million [$78.2 million] research programme aimed at incorporating all renewable energies into a supergrid that can balance intermittent sources of electricity and ensure uninterrupted supplies,” Climate News said.
Member states that share a border with Russia are “particularly concerned” about their reliance on gas pipelines from Siberia, which periodically get turned off over price disputes. Aside from this, the “main thrust” of the EU’s new policy is to cut greenhouse gas emissions across the continent.
The EU is spending billions to connect the states, with the supergrid “bearing fruit” around 2018. The Connecting Europe Facility has allocated €5.85 billion ($7.27 billion) for connectors, and countries can become eligible for one of the CEF grants if its proposal will “enhance security of supply, reduce carbon emissions, and benefit at least two member states.”
So far, €647 million ($837 million) has gone to gas projects in the Baltics States, and Central and Southeastern Europe, areas that have relied heavily on Russian energy in the past. Another grant of €40 million will help link the United Kingdom to Norwegian hydropower and to “two new interconnectors in France.”
The European Union is ahead of America by leaps and bounds when it comes to renewable energy. Instead of pouring more money into increasing our dependence on fossil fuels, whether the be foreign or domestic, the US should be harnessing our access to renewable sources. Not only would developing new industries help the economy, but it would also show that we’re doing our part to help reduce the massive amount of carbon emissions the US pumps into the atmosphere every day.