Both nationally and internationally,there is an increasing focus on renewable energy supply and on electricity and gas cross-border interconnections. Traditionally, industry, policy makers, transmission system operators and researchers have focused on renewable energy integration within one single sector – most often on electricity only.
Renewable energy prices are rapidly decreasing in wind power (both onshore and offshore), photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal etc. When considering levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) alone, onshore wind power is the cheapest electricity source. However, wind power, PV and other renewables depend on domestic and international integration measures such as: power plants stopping (signaled in electricity markets), synthetic gas storage, large-scale heat pumps with thermal storage for district heating, small heat pumps, electric vehicles, energy storage and expansion of interconnectors.
As the political aim of the EU is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in 2050, there is an urgency to move beyond this single-sector focus in research, industry and public authorities and instead look at this transition as requiring a complete redesign of the entire energy system.