London / Wilhelmshaven (DPA) – With an underwater “power highway”, Germany and Great Britain want to be able to trade and transfer electricity more easily. From 2026, the 720 km “New Connect” subsea power cable will connect Wilhemshevan to the Hu Peninsula in the Thames.
Called the interconnector, it can carry up to 1.4 gigawatts of electricity in both directions – enough for about 1.5 million households. During her farewell visit to Great Britain in early July, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the plan.
“From the federal government’s point of view, New Connect could offer significant economic and energy benefits,” the Berlin Ministry of Finance said in a statement. The project provides opportunities to break free from the German transmission network, reduce costs and integrate renewable energy across borders. Although “NeuConnect” is part of the federal requirement plan, it is not financially funded by the federal government.
Even the British government, which supports the project, does not pay 1. 1.4 billion (66 1.66 billion) for the cable. A consortium of investors is currently covering the cost of the largest single German-British project. “NewConnect will help ensure that we do not waste renewable energy,” said the Department of Commerce in London. Recently, Great Britain and Norway commissioned the world’s longest undersea power cable. There is already an interconnector between Germany and the Scandinavian country via the North Sea: the “Nordlink” enables German wind power on one side and power from Norwegian hydropower plants on the other.
After all, the British hope to reduce the cost of connection customers. Electricity prices are still consistently higher than in Germany. So far, the country has been a power importer, with 5.4 per cent of electricity demand in 2020 coming from abroad. The country already operates several interconnectors, for example France, Ireland and the Netherlands. More is planned. With “NeuConnect” Germany can deliver extra power. “The first connection of the two largest European energy markets will lead to a more sustainable and sustainable power supply in Germany and Great Britain,” said Newconnect Dutchland GmbH.
Prime Minister Johnson wants to move green energy significantly ahead of 2040 and make Great Britain a “wind-powered Saudi Arabia”. Capacity is expected to quadruple from 10 gigawatts in 2019 to 2030 in 2030. As the federal-owned company Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) wrote in an analysis, the United Kingdom wants to be an electricity exporter.
However, so far, Great Britain has relied on electricity imports. France is currently using it in a dispute over fishing rights on the English Channel, and is threatening to suspend deliveries to Channel Island in Jersey. However, the interconnector with France is currently unable to operate at full capacity following a fire at a British Power Distribution Center. This has dramatically increased the pressure on electricity prices in the UK.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211031-99-805054 / 2
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