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Cardiff University in super grid project for harnessing power created by Europe's offshore windfarms

8/12/2014 by Sharon Shahzad


Researchers at Cardiff University are working with Belgian colleagues to find ways of developing a super gird  for electricity generating offshore windfarms.

Researchers at Cardiff University are working on ways of developing a ‘super grid’ for sharing wind power across Europe.

The team hopes to find ways of bringing renewable energy into homes and businesses, cutting down on fossil fuels.

Working with Leuven University (KU Leuven) in Belgium, the MEDOW (Multi-terminal DC Grid for Offshore Wind) project is investigating ways of sharing power generated by offshore wind farms.

Professor Nick Jenkins, Leader of Energy at Cardiff School of Engineering, said: “Wind power is a source of clean, renewable electricity. We need to make more of it to become less reliant on expensive imported fossil fuels. In 2012, over half of the energy that the EU consumed was imported from outside the Union.”

MEDOW is working to develop a direct current or ‘DC’ grid – an efficient way of transmitting and sharing power. A pan-European grid, rather than single point-to-point connections, will reinforce reliability and help balance power supply and demand.

Academic and research staff from Cardiff and KU Leuven have been meeting to share views on how to access funding from the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. The idea of a European renewables power grid is widely supported, and backed by the environmental charity Greenpeace.

Professor Jenkins added: “New wind farms are likely to be placed offshore, where wind speeds are higher and turbines less intrusive. As offshore wind power is generated a long way from where it is used, we need to find better ways of transporting the power to the onshore grid.

Increasing our use of wind power will also support the future electrification of heating and transport, which could make a big difference to carbon emissions and reliance on fuel imports.”

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