Outdated infrastructure has too little capacity for new renewable energy projects.
Europe’s electricity grids are not sufficiently equipped for the expansion of renewable energies and, according to the European Commission, should undergo a general overhaul. At the beginning of the month, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson put the necessary costs at 584 billion euros. The EU Commission will present the plans next week, Bloomberg reports.
In an interview with Reuters, Leonhard Birnbaum, President of the industry association Eurelectric and CEO of the energy group Eon, described the European electricity grid as the bottleneck for expanding renewable energies. Several projects are currently waiting to be connected to the electricity grid. According to Bloomberg, the lack of capacity is compounded by wind and solar energy typically reaching their maximum output at different times of the day, so industry representatives advocate so-called “smart grids.” They optimally coordinate generation, storage, and consumption through centralized control, thus balancing electricity fluctuations.
In addition to infrastructure problems, however, the industry also grapples with other difficulties. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), there is a shortage of skilled workers, particularly in the fields of science, technology, and engineering. This is because constructing new infrastructure for renewable energies requires far more work than operating existing plants.