This paper gives first a brief history of the development studies of the Mediterranean transmission grid, and a brief summary of the conclusions of the most recent project studies in the region.
Then the paper introduces the Medgrid industrial initiative which aims to promote and facilitate the development of the Mediterranean transmission system to support the implementation of the Mediterranean Solar Plan and to contribute to the recent objectives of the European Commission regarding renewable energies.
In connection with other initiatives interested in the development of power exchanges between the countries of the South and East of the Mediterranean and Europe, Medgrid proposes a global approach to coordinate the future transmission infrastructure projects around and through the Mediterranean.
This global approach adds value to the bilateral initiatives to build new transmission facilities across the sea, by assessing and comparing the feasibility and profitability of all the possible transmission infrastructure corridors and projects in the Mediterranean region.
Medgrid aims to elaborate a Mediterranean grid development plan for the 2020-2025 time horizon which is the horizon set up by the Mediterranean Solar Plan to reach 5 GW exports from the countries of the South and East of the Mediterranean to Europe, out of 20 GW of renewable energy to be generated in these countries.
To achieve this Mediterranean grid development plan, Medgrid is considering the national demand profiles and power generation mixes of all the countries, and the potential benefits resulting from power exchanges between these countries, should the appropriate transmission infrastructures exist.
The gains on the global generation mix are compared with the cost of investment and operation of new transmission infrastructures which are necessary to make those gains possible.
As a result, Medgrid will propose a list of infrastructures whose expected gains justify their development costs.
Several scenarios of evolution of the costs of conventional and renewable energy generation are considered, and an original approach is followed to consider grid corridors rather than individual transmission infrastructure projects.