Netherlands, UK to announce major new power link to boost energy security
Plans for a new power line to link both countries and offshore wind turbines in the North Sea, to increase energy security and boost renewable power, will be announced by the Netherlands and the UK on Monday.
“This new connection further boosts energy security and energy independence in Europe. Close collaboration on offshore wind energy and interconnection amongst the North Sea countries is imperative,” said Dutch Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten.
The power line, dubbed the ‘LionLink’, is the second of its kind and will carry enough electricity to power more homes than Birmingham and Manchester combined, according to the UK government.
Expected to be operational in the early 2030s, it will be four times bigger than the only other interconnector of its kind and carry up to 1.8 gigawatts.
“With the North Sea becoming the largest supplier of green electricity for the Netherlands and large parts of Europe, we are ready to expand the interconnection between the two countries,” said Jetten.
The UK and Dutch energy ministers will announce plans for the link at the North Sea Summit in Belgium, which will see representatives from nine countries and EU energy chief Kadri Simson meet to discuss future offshore wind ambitions.
UK energy security secretary Grant Shapps is also expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with Denmark to boost collaboration on transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables.
“Together with the strong ties we have with our northern European neighbours united today at the North Sea Summit, we are bolstering our energy security and sending a strong signal to Putin’s Russia that the days of his dominance over global power markets are well and truly over,” said Shapps.
According to the Dutch government, LionLink will support decarbonisation and market integration, strengthen supply security, and form an important step towards an integrated offshore grid in the North Sea.
“It is a first step and a great opportunity to learn as the offshore grid takes shape,” said Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT, the Dutch transmission system operator working with UK company National Grid to develop the project.
The UK already has 8.4 gigawatts of interconnector capacity, including a power link to Belgium. The LionLink will increase that by up to a fifth.
“Connecting wind farms to multiple markets simultaneously is a game changer for energy infrastructure and brings us one step closer to realising the enormous green energy potential of the North Sea,” said Ben Wilson, president of National Grid Ventures.
“We now need the right political, legal and regulatory framework to make it happen and establish a mutually beneficial North Sea grid to deliver a cleaner, fairer, more secure and more affordable energy future for British and European consumers,” he added.
(Kira Taylor | EURACTIV.com)
cover photo: The power line, dubbed the ‘LionLink’, is the second of its kind and will carry enough electricity to power more homes than Birmingham and Manchester combined, according to the UK government. [Shutterstock/Masha Basova]