The UK electricity and gas regulator OFGEM, has shortlisted several projects to be built, increasing the electricity connections between the UK and Europe.
Interconnectors are designed to provide the transmission capacity for electricity to flow between two countries. If one country is short on supply, interconnectors can be the life blood, delivering electricity from abroad.
Interconnectors are traditionally market driven. If there is an abundance of energy and electricity in one country or part of the country, this will subdue prices. This ‘cheaper’ power can then be exported to areas where electricity is needed and the price for power is higher.
For the UK, approximately 6% of power generation is imported from France and the Netherlands via interconnectors. As the UK continues to shut down its power generation capacity, this will cause further necessity to import power from abroad.
Several interconnectors between France are being developed. The France-Alderney-Britain (FAB) is a project that will link France and Britain via the Channel Island of Alderney. One that is already in construction is a cable that will use the Eurotunnel existing infrastructure. The project known as “ElecLink”, which will provide a capacity of 1000MW in either direction is already under construction and will be operational in Q3 2016.
Other interconnectors are planned which will increase capacity between Wales and Ireland, Northumberland and Norway and Lincolnshire and Denmark. Overall these will be around 7.5GW of increased capacity or interconnection between the UK and Europe.