Despite nuclear deal, English, French and Scottish grids improve

» By | Published 20 Feb 2012

Last week the UK and France signed an agreement on nuclear power that could – going by the growing body of evidence on the rising cost of nuclear power – prove to be a huge drain on the public purse in the future. But at the same UK-France summit, a separate agreement was clinched to build an electricity interconnector between the two countries that could see Europe stepping closer to a more energy-secure future.

The interconnector cable, known as the FABLink, will connect France, the Channel Island of Alderney and mainland Britain. Edward Davey, UK Energy Secretary, said he recognises the “importance of further developing new electricity interconnectors between our two countries in order to strengthen further the linking of our grids, improve the security of our energy supplies and facilitate the integration of intermittent energy sources.”

Meanwhile, the UK announced another new electricity link last week – a subsea interconnector between Hunterston in West Scotland and the Wiral peninsula in England near the Welsh border. The 418 km cable will bring renewable energy from Scotland further south helping the UK to meet its carbon cutting targets. It is due to be online by 2016.

“The additional capacity from this link will provide a significant boost to renewable energy projects that we are developing in Scotland in order to bring clean energy to consumers throughout the country,” Ignacio Galan, Chairman of Scottish Power said.

The Scottish government wants to increase its renewable power generation from 10 TWh today to 50 TWh by 2020 – in order to meet its target of 100% renewable electricity by 2020. Scotland already has over 2,500 MW of wind power capacity.

These announcements come as European Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, last week warned that Europe must co-operate on grids at a European level or face declining global competitiveness.

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