The European Commission allocated over €903 million in 2010 for electricity inter-connection projects as part of its broader European Economic Recovery Plan, thereby injecting new life into long standing electricity grid development plans within the Union. Nine projects received funding, including the vital France-Spain interconnection, which has been put on hold for a long time. Funds will also be allocated to a link between Sweden and the Baltic States, the Nordbalt line, as well as to reinforce an interconnection between Finland and Estonia, Estlink-2, amongst other transmission lines.
At the same time, ten EU countries, namely Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway and Belgium, came together to develop an offshore electricity grid at the North Sea, or a ‘supergrid’, by tapping into vast solar resources from the Mediterranean and wind from the North. A Steering Committee, a Programme Board and three working groups were set up to cover issues such as ‘grid configuration and integration’, ‘market and regulatory issues’ and ‘planning and authorisation procedures’. The working groups will involve industry, governments and the European Commission.