Controlled Chaos: Managing the Uncertainties of Renewables in Europe

INTRODUCTION: A New Landscape for Power
The increasing use of expensive renewable energy sources (RES) is profoundly altering the nature of Europe's electricity grid, networks and markets (see figure 1). The rise of renewables has been hastened by the European Union (EU) commitments to reduce carbon emissions, related initiatives including carbon-energy taxation, trading on CO2 emissions and subsidies for renewable energy sources. The move to renewables was further reinforced by the controversial moves away from nuclear power in Switzerland and Germany. If the trend continues, the EU Commission, basing its forecast on current plans, estimates that renewables will constitute more than one-third (36%) of Europe's electricity mix by 2030 (see figure 2).

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