Today, four cables — known as interconnectors — between the U.K. and Ireland, France and the Netherlands have a capacity of 4GW, providing around 6 percent of Britain’s power supplies. However, with 11 new connections linking the U.K. and other European countries either under construction or mooted by developers, imports could provide more than a fifth of the country’s electricity needs by 2025, the government expects.
As the U.K.’s Brexit white paper said in understated fashion: “There has been a trend towards greater interconnectivity that has brought mutual benefits to trading partners.”
Leading the charge is National Grid, which is behind three of the 11 new proposed cables.
Jon Butterworth, who heads the group’s interconnectors business, said: “From our perspective, and from the perspective of the general public, there’s not a lot of downsides to interconnectors.”
The company argues the links are good for consumers because lower wholesale prices on the continent will translate to cheaper energy bills in the U.K. Households will save £9.01 a year once the 13.9GW of new capacity has come online, it calculates.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.