Europe chooses HVDC technology to address the energy crisis

by Oct 28, 2022

Europe is prone to energy crisis, since Russia has cut off gas supplies due to the Russian-Ukraine conflict. In this regard, Europe is actively pursuing alternative solutions to meet the electric power requirements, as power generation sector has been impacted by the natural gas shutdown. Moreover, Europe has shown strong intentions in developing a sustainable interconnected HVDC transmission network to exchange the electricity between the countries. Following the same trend, Greece has been constructing VSC HVDC interconnector, EuroAfrica interconnector (2000 MW), between Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece. The EuroAfrica interconnector is being built by Siemen Energy and will connect Cyprus to the European interconnected grid for the first time in 2023. In addition, Greece has also planned to build two HVDC interconnections namely EruoAsia interconnector (2000 MW, 1208 km) and GREGY interconnection (3000 MW, 853 km) by 2025 and 2028 respectively. The EuroAsia interconnection, recently entered the construction phase, will enable bidirectional flow of electric power between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece through VSC HVDC technology to meet the rapidly increasing electric load. In addition, the GREGY interconnection will further strengthen the energy security of Greece by enabling the import of green electricity from Egypt. Talking about the future outlook, there will be four intercontinental HVDC interconnectors, including Portugal-Morocco Power Link, Morocco-UK Power Project, EuroAfrica interconnection and GREGY interconnection, which will enable transmission of more than 6000 MW of electric power between Africa and Europe by 2030. Except for EuroAfrica, all afore mentioned transcontinental interconnections are still in the early stages of deployment and their converter and cable suppliers are yet to be determined. However, based on past trends, Hitachi Energy and Siemens Energy are the leading suppliers of HVDC converters for cross-border interconnections and will be the potential suppliers of the HVDC converter technology for these planned transcontinental HVDC interconnections. In terms of cable providers, Prysmian, NKT, and Nexans could be potential HVDC subsea cable suppliers because they already have a substantial presence in the region. The HVDC technology has proven its significance not just in the EMEA region, but also in the Asia Pacific region, where a mega HVDC project of 3.2 GW transmission capacity is being built between Australia and Singapore. Plus, India is also in discussion with the Saudi Arabia to build a subsea interconnection between the coast of Gujrat (Mundra port) and Emirate of Fujairah. These ongoing intercontinental HVDC developments has proved that HVDC is one of the most efficient and economically viable solution for transmitting electricity over larger distances.

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