1 Department of Energy Technology, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN2 Thermal Energy Systems, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN3 The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN4 Energy Institute, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
This paper defines and compares two strategies for integrating intermittent renewables: SuperGrid and SmartGrid. While conventional energy policy suggests that these strategies may be implemented alongside each other, the paper identifies significant technological and socio-economic conflicts of interest between the two. The article identifies differences between a domestic strategy for the integration of intermittent renewables, vis-à-vis the SmartGrid, and a cross-system strategy, vis-à-vis the SuperGrid. Policy makers and transmission system operators must understand the need for both strategies to evolve in parallel, but in different territories, or with strategic integration, avoiding for one strategy to undermine the feasibility of the other. A strategic zoning strategy is introduced from which attentive societies as well as the global community stand to benefit. The analysis includes a paradigmatic case study from West Denmark which supports the hypothesis that these strategies are mutually exclusive. The case study shows that increasing cross-system transmission capacity jeopardizes the feasibility of SmartGrid technology investments. A political effort is required for establishing dedicated SmartGrid innovation zones, while also redefining infrastructure to avoid the narrow focus on grids and cables. SmartGrid Investment Trusts could be supported from reallocation of planned transmission grid investments to provide for the equitable development of SmartGrid strategies.