A Widening Web of Undersea Cables Connects Britain to Green Energy


“Interconnectors are a really critical tool to enable countries to decarbonize their energy systems,” stated Cordi O’Hara, president of National Grid Ventures, the unit that constructed the Norway hyperlink with Statnett for 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion). “When the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine in a region, they can get access to renewable resources from other places,” she added.

Britain and international locations like Denmark and the Netherlands are growing grand plans to remodel the North Sea, lengthy an oil and gasoline hub, into one of the world’s nice turbines of renewable power. The British authorities, for example, goals to practically quadruple Britain’s already world-leading offshore wind capability over the following decade.

“We see the North Sea as this green powerhouse for electricity,” Ms. O’Hara stated.

Among the chances: cables that may faucet into some of the large offshore wind farms probably to be constructed within the coming years, sending that energy to a number of international locations, and synthetic power islands that may haven’t solely wind generators however different clear power services like hydrogen turbines.

For undersea cables, “there is no limitation when it comes to length,” stated Bjorn Sanden, a technical director at Nexans, a Norwegian firm accountable for a big portion of the cabling on the hyperlink between Britain and Norway. Projects beneath dialogue, like a 2,600-mile undersea hyperlink that may take solar energy from Australia to Singapore, are theoretically possible, if the economics might be made to work, he stated.

Britain’s plans for the North Sea may very well be made extra advanced by the nation’s uneasy ties with its former European companions. It has been excluded from a European energy pricing system, making its interconnectors extra cumbersome to use, stated Chris Matson, a companion at LCP, a consulting agency. In October, France’s Europe minister, Clément Beaune, even urged that Europe may lower off power provides to Britain throughout a dispute over fishing rights.