Electricity highways support the development of a single European electricity market and the decarbonisation of the EU economy.
The development of a single European electricity market emphasises the critical role of interconnections between transmission network operators. The European Commission has highlighted the need to expand interconnections. The liberalisation of the European electricity market aims to create a competitive and truly integrated electricity market in the European Union.
There is a political will to decarbonise the EU economy (see ‘20-20-20 Strategy’ and ‘2050 Energy Roadmap’). Renewable energy sources, key tool of the decarbonisation process, are located at a great distance from consumption centres, e.g. offshore wind in northern Europe or solar resources in the Mediterranean region. Integration of the large potential of renewable energy sources will dramatically change the geography of electricity flows across Europe. There is great variable renewable potential across Europe. The intermittency of renewable energy sources requires more network development for balancing purposes.