for sustainability

Best Paths discusses the future of the European energy grid

Brussels, 23rd November 2017 – The workshop on “Innovating grid technologies for sustainable energy”, held on 22nd November in Madrid, gave an overview of the future of the European power grid. The workshop was organised by Red Electrica de España  and Iberdrola in the framework of BEST PATHS, the largest FP7 research project ever financed by the European Commission in the energy sector. Its consortium partners include transmission grid operators, energy players, research centres and academia.

While the importance of renewables is growing and more countries are increasingly relying on them, the BEST PATHS project is addressing the next steps necessary for grid evolution. The projects focuses on integrating offshore wind power into the electricity grid, upgrading and refurbishing existing electricity transmission grids (Alternate Current, Direct Current applications and High Voltage Direct Current transmission), and designing new materials and technologies for ultra high capacity cables.

As the project coordinator, Vicente Gonzalez Lopez, from Red Eléctrica de España stated during the workshop, “The whole European power sector is under great pressure to keep its technological competitiveness. Innovation is one of the key answers to the challenge of the energy transition and to face the competition from outside the European Union. But synergy among Member States and companies is critical. The individual demonstrations composing the Best Paths project run in parallel, but show a great deal of cooperation among different players – even when such players are in competition”.

During the workshop, the leaders of the five project demos delivered detailed presentations illustrating the developments achieved in the last year of work, while a panel discussion with major international experts animated a lively audience of nearly eighty attendees.

Many of the results presented are approaching their final stage, as the project will come to an end in September 2018. As the public debate about energy gains momentum, the project is developing tests, methodologies, technologies and prototypes to ensure a powerful and flexible grid. The main results include in particular:

  • Real life simulation of off-shore wind energy integration into High Voltage Direct Current grids (Demo 1)
  • Testing of the interoperability of electricity High Voltage Direct Current converters from different manufacturers (Demo 2)
  • Developing High Voltage Direct Current interconnectors to upgrade undersea connection of the Sardinia-Corsica-Italy transmission grid (Demo 3)
  • Repowering transmission lines, improving live-line maintenance of electricity cables and developing a dynamic line rating system based on low cost sensors (Demo 4)
  • Developing and testing a new superconducting cable with ultra high capacity performance (Demo5)


Note to editors

All the presentations of the workshop can be found here can be found here and the agenda of the workshop here