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European energy policy seeks to achieve a substantially increased contribution from renewable sources of electricity, and the creation of a pan-European competitive electricity market. The existing infrastructure of the European electricity grid, and generally low levels of integration and co-ordination in the planning and operation of the grid, will not enable these goals to be achieved. The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) has therefore examined the developments that are required in grid planning, operation and infrastructure to accommodate more renewable sources of electricity and to support a European electricity market.
The study concludes that developments are required in planning a European grid to ensure that investments are made in the right places, in the way the grid is operated so that maximum benefi t is extracted from a given infrastructure, and in transmission technologies so that effective options are available for environmental, operational, energy efficiency and investment considerations. Specific recommendations are made in each of these areas.