Longer & Wetter Grid Connections

 Longer & Wetter Grid Connections

In Saving the World Before Breakfast: A Better Green New Deal, I noted that regional-sized and even continental-sized grids have advantages of being able to “wheel power” from areas with extra power to areas willing to buy.  The European Union’s electricity grid is the largest most interconnected continental power network in the world,[1] and its operation suggests that regional grids will continue to grow in size and capabilities.  The Europeans also have the longest submarine power line to date, the 580-kilometer (360-mile) NorNed high-voltage direct-current line carrying power from Norway to Holland and the deepest cable that runs between Italy and Sardinia.[2] 

However, the second edition of Better Green New will have an addition.  These cables would be dwarfed by the proposed Australia-Asia PowerLink project, working its way through the approval processes of several countries in 2021.  The genesis of this proposed cable is a giant solar farm in Australia, a region away from a market for its electricity. That proposed cable would send 3.2 gigawatts of solar-generated electrical power 4,200 kilometers (2,600 miles) via a high-voltage DC submarine cable from Australia along the sea floor via Indonesia to Singapore.[3] 

Even if this proposal and permitting effort does not get built, just having such an effort is already advancing the state of the art for long-distance power cabling and especially underwater power cabling.  That wild idea of a world electrical grid is still financially impractical … but it is steadily becoming more practical technically.


[1] Bruno Lajoie, “Europe’s Interconnected Electricity System: an in-Depth Analysis,” Medium.com, June 8, 2018.  https://medium.com/electricitymap/what-does-it-take-to-decarbonize-europe-d94cbed80878 (accessed Sept. 1, 2020)

[2] Mircea Ardelean and Philip Minnebo, “6, Long Cable Examples,” HVDC Submarine Power Cables in the World, Report EUR 27527 EN, European Union, 2015.  https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC97720/ld-na-27527-en-n.pdf (accessed Sept. 3, 2020)


Popular posts from this blog

Radiative-Cooling Air Conditioning

2023 Climate Skeptics Conference: We’re Winning! No, They’re Not—But How they Could Win

If We Ever Get Real Hungry …