5 innovations that will transform the electrical transmission industry
Renewable energies
23 May 2024
8 min
electrical transmission

Faster, higher, stronger – together is the motto of the Olympics, but it can also apply to the changes happening in the electricity transmission and distribution industry.

As decarbonization of energy takes on a heightened importance globally, it will take a unified approach to reach net zero by 2050. To do so will mean eliminating fossil fuel combustion and transforming power grids to accommodate intermittent renewable energy.

Rejuvenation of the grid that a decarbonized and electrified world needs differs significantly from the ones built post World War II and on which we still rely today. Modernization and newer storage technologies are crucial in decarbonizing electricity. But equally important are the connections of supply from one electric network to another to ensure energy reliability and stability and transition the world to renewables.

Thus, according to a report published by the International Energy Agency, the world must add or replace about 80 million km of grids by 2040, equal to all grids globally today, in order for countries to meet their climate goals and to achieve energy security priorities. Considering only offshore wind in Europe, 48 000 to 54 000 km of HV cable route length shall be added by 2050 to meet the offshore wind targets of the European countries, according to a ENTSO-E’s TYNDP report published in January 2024.

For decades, experts have discussed interconnections. However, two crucial factors are now driving their escalating importance: the increasing availability of renewables and the vulnerability of today’s network to climate change.

Grid interconnection—Boosting power reliability and stability, and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels

Put simply, an interconnection links a network of grids together at a synchronized frequency. This enables the transfer of surplus energy from areas with excess power to those with higher demand than they can meet locally. Harnessing electricity from a regional grid allows the local network to reduce the risks of power outages or failures, thereby boosting power reliability and stability.

In addition, interconnection links islands and continents to sources where renewable energy generation is more plentiful, thus progressively diminishing reliance on fossil fuels. Examples include the interconnection between Crete to Greece, Mallorca to Spain and Tasmania to Australia. This enables the development of renewable energy sources on these islands, freeing them from dependence on polluting power generation.

Here are five innovations that will make electrical transmission reach new heights.

Interconnections globally are instrumental in ensuring the viability of sustainable energy and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels. Achieving this requires a cutting-edge mindset in designing, manufacturing, and installing deep-sea cables that can transmit increasingly higher energy levels and that can realize interconnexions in previously impossible areas.

Moreover, innovation in electrical transmission is unquestionably linked to unerring monitoring as well as highly sustainable design.

From the engineering, manufacturing, construction, and installation of HVDC cables for connection systems, to the world’s first electrical Type Test with 320 kV HVDC cable termination using GE’s g³ gas to considerably lessen global warming potential, by way of the increasing amount of recycled metals used in cables: Nexans is at the forefront of these innovations.

In the coming weeks, we invite you to deep dive into these innovations that will revolutionize the electrical transmission industry.

Maxime Toulotte


Maxime Toulotte is the Markets & New Solutions Director of Generation & Transmission Business Group in Nexans, where he has the responsibility to develop and maintain relations with technical and engineering departments of clients and partners for subsea high voltage cables.

Maxime has held several positions as Sales & Tender Manager and Lead Engineer for high voltage submarine cable system projects.

Maxime holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology, France.