Two subsea electricity cables will be built linking Norway with the UK and Germany, allowing the three countries to exchange renewable energy to balance electricity supply.
The construction of the two 1,400MW cables has been announced today by the Norwegian government and welcomed by the European Commission.
"This will help enormously to integrate renewable energy in north-west Europe,” said Günther Oettinger, vice-president of the EU Commission and commissioner for Energy. “Germany and the UK can sell renewable energy to Norway when weather conditions are such that they produce a lot and Norway can sell electricity from hydropower. This will benefit both sides and balance the system."
The licence awarded to Norwegian grid operator Statnett marks a further step towards building the two subsea cables. Statnett will work with Tennet on the NORD.LINK interconnector between Norway and Germany, and with National Grid on the North Sea Network (NSN) between Norway and UK, with a goal to be operational by 2020 at the latest.
The integration of the Norwegian, German and UK electricity markets, which at the moment are not connected directly, will ensure improved security of supply in the three countries, increase market efficiency and further integrate renewables.
In June 2012, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg agreed a partnership between the three countries to secure sustainable long-term energy security through interconnectors linking Norway to Germany and UK.