The European Commission has outlined plans to increase investment in the continent’s power grids, including a number of projects prioritised for permits and funding, Reuters has reported.

EU estimates call for a €584bn ($638.6bn) investment in the upgrade by 2030.

Some of the grids are decades old, and traditional fossil fuel-fired power plants need improvements to support renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

The EU aims to introduce the plan in early December 2023 and could give “projects of common interest” status to as many as 68 projects. Some of these are expected to be in energy storage.

Priority status speeds up the permissions process while also guaranteeing funding.

Reuters stated: “Grids need to adapt to a more decentralised, digitalised and flexible electricity system with millions of rooftop solar panels and local energy communities sharing resources.”

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By GlobalData

The development follows the EU’s target of achieving carbon-neutral status by 2050. In September 2023, the European Parliament passed a resolution to increase renewables capacity across member states by 42.5% by 2030.

Member states must also strive to increase their renewables capacity by up to 45% and grant permits to renewable energy projects.

The resolution forms part of the REPowerEU plan, launched in May 2022, to save energy, generate clean energy and diversify energy supplies.