Electricity in Europe
For reasons history, the electric network European was mainly built on national, or local bases. But, as of after war, one of the first acts of rebuilding of the European countries was to inter-connect their domestic networks, according to the energy principle of solidarity. Since then, a certain percentage of electricity can thus pass the internal borders of the Union, allowing the complementarity of the various networks and the various sources of production.
It is on this basis of interconnection that the European Union decided to build a Interior market of the energy, of which the first steps were at the same time ECSC in 1952, the treaty Euratom in 1957, and initially the declaration of Messine in 1955 when the ministers agreed on an objective " of establishment of a European network of lines électrifiées" and " on the availability of the European savings in more abundant energy to cheaper ".
The international exchanges pass by lines to very high voltage (THT) of 400 Kv. The capacity of these lines is limited, but their development encounters certain oppositions sometimes, in particular on behalf of the ecologists mediums.
The managers of the European electrical communications, as RTE in France coordinate each other within a common organization, that of the Owners of the European system of transmission ( European transmission system operators ) or ETSO. This organization gathers four regional associations: ATSOI for the Ireland, UKTSOA for the the United Kingdom, Nordel for the Scandinavian countries and UCTE for the continental countries of the Central and Western Europe. The members are the 34 managers of electrical communications of the 25 countries of the European Union, except the Baltic States, plus the Norway and the Suisse. This unit feeds a population of 400 million inhabitants which corresponds almost to the inter-connected zone and provides approximately 3000 TWh per annum.
Interconnection and capacity of the principal European networks
The powers are expressed in gigawatts, for 2003.
Since January 1st, 2006, the capacity of interconnection of France with its European neighbors is allocated by a mechanism of bidding.
In 2004, connections between France and Spain have a capacity of 1400 MW. A project of connection Très High voltage (THT) by the Vallespir envisages to increase this capacity up to 2600 MW then 4000MW. For the companies like EDF, the Enjeu is important, it must make it possible to sell in Spain, Portugal and Morocco more electricity. However, EDF loses money while promising with clauses of penalty of the electric connections which cannot be built (2 000.000 €; two million euros). For the ecologists, these connections are useless and will damage the environment. The Basque Country, the Valley of Aran, and the Vallée of Louron already saw failed of the electric projects of connections.
List managers of European electrical communications
- E.ON Netz
- EnBW Transportnetze AG
- RWE Netz
- VE Transmission
- Verbund - APG
- REE (Red electrica of España)
- RTE (Grid system of electricity)
- MAVIR Rt.
- GRTN (Gestore rete trasmissione nazionale)
- REN (Rede eléctrica nacional SA)
- Czech Republic
- the United Kingdom
- National Grid
- Svenska Kraftnät
- BKW FMB Energy SA
- EGL Grid AG
- Statistical economic, Electricity, Électricité de France, Electrabel, Commission of regulation of energy
External bondETSO, official site (in English)
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