Supergrid: projecting interconnection capacities for the UK

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Interconnected electricity networks, supergrids, are being considered in Europe as a way to help tackle two current global challenges – rapidly increasing energy demands and rising carbon dioxide emissions. As with any new approach, there is a range of risks associated with developing interconnections, not least the availability of surplus electricity for exportation between various candidate countries. While the future is never certain, the process of generating a range of possible capacities for these interconnections should be considered as a necessary precursor for mitigating risks within decision-making processes. In facilitating this objective, this paper proposes a step-wise methodological framework for assessing the probabilities of achieving surplus capacity provision within a UK pan-European supergrid. This includes application of a newly developed tool for proposing a range of energy supply/demand scenarios in conjunction with the @Risk assessment tool. Through example scenarios it is shown how P80 (80th percentile) interconnection capacities for 2030 can be assessed. The results suggest that, of the nine candidate countries, Germany could provide the greatest (10ṡ97 GW) surplus capacity with an 80% chance. It is concluded that, with further stakeholder engagement, the developed framework will provide a deeper understanding of the key fundamental risks associated with interconnections as well as mitigation measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-263
Number of pages15
Journal Institution of Civil Engineers. Proceedings. Engineering Sustainability
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • infrastructure planning
  • renewable energy
  • risk & probability analysis


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