To establish a low-carbon economy and to keep the global average temperature rise below 2°C, industrialised countries have to reduce greenhouse gas emission by up to 95% by 2050. Europe’s energy sector is expected to make a major contribution towards achieving these reductions and to become the engine for a low-carbon economy.
The integration of decentralised renewable energy systems into the power grid is one of the principal drivers for investments in electricity infrastructure and offers many opportunities for the reduction of grid loads and energy losses in transportation. At the same time, grid operators and the electricity industry are facing major challenges in implementing this complete transformation of the way electricity is generated and transmitted.
By 2050, the majority of Europe’s electricity will come from renewables and the continent’s transmission grids will need to be geared to both transporting large quantities of offshore wind-generated electricity and integrating it into micro-grids. For electricity production, onshore and offshore wind power is a key provider, which is projected to increase to over 190 GW of installed capacity in the EU by 2020 .
The challenge of integrating large volumes of renewable energies into the grid hinges on their intermittent nature and uneven geographical distribution. Major development of the European grid infrastructure is thus considered critical to maintaining reliable power supplies and bringing renewable-generated electricity from generation sites to far away consumption sites.
The BEST PATHS project will help to overcome the challenges of integrating renewable energies into Europe’s energy mix. It aims to develop novel network technologies to increase the pan-European transmission network capacity and electricity system flexibility.
The project unites expert partners around five large-scale demonstrations to validate the technical feasibility, costs, impacts and benefits of the tested grid technologies. The focus of the demonstrations is to deliver solutions to allow for transition from High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) lines to HVDC grids, to upgrade and repower existing Alternating Current (AC) parts of the network, and to integrate superconducting high power DC links within AC meshed network.
BEST PATHS will focus on the development of high-capacity transmission networks needed to meet Europe’s long-term energy goals and incorporation of renewable energy sources.
By focusing on overcoming the barriers that are hindering integration of power generated from renewable sources into the electricity system, best paths is expected to contribute to increased efficiency, flexibility, safety and quality of the European electricity system, notably within the context of a more integrated European energy market.
Innovative technologies developed within the framework of the BEST PATHS project will help to increase efficiency, flexibility, safety and quality of the European electricity system. Through this, the initiative will contribute to achieving the 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and the Roadmap towards reaching a decarbonised economy by 2050.
The experimental results of BEST PATHS will be integrated into European impact analyses to show the scalability of the solutions and will be made available as soon as 2018, to benefit replication across the pan-European transmission network and electricity market.
(October 2014-September 2018)
Total budget: 62.8M €
EC contribution: 35.5M €
39 Partners from 11 European countries
14 WPs 74 Deliverables
Mr Vicente González López
Red Eléctrica de España (REE)