DENMARK The first power interconnector between Denmark and Great Britain could start operation in 2022. Surveys of the sea bed along the 400-mile route along which the cable is to run are pending.
The Viking Link project is being developed by the British National Grid and the Danish operator Energinet.dk. A marine contractor is now being sought to survey the sea bed and identify suitable landing locations.
“This is a major step towards realising the project. However, a definitive investment decision is not planned until 2018 and the cable could go into operation in 2022,” says Kristian Gustafsson, an analyst with Policy Management Wholesale Markets at Vattenfall.
European energy union
Earlier in the year, the EU Commission presented the framework for a European energy union with a joint energy policy. The Commission feels that an energy union with good interlinking capability to keep the power network stable has great potential not least to meet the climate challenge and reduce the energy dependency within the EU.
The Viking Link project fits well into the framework for the energy union, explains Kristian Gustafsson.
“Better transmission links between Scandinavia and Great Britain as well as within Germany and Sweden are some of the most urgently needed improvements in Vattenfall’s view. Together with the rest of Scandinavia, Sweden is approaching a challenging situation characterised by periods of major surplus in our production capability. So it is of interest for Europe as a whole to have good transmission capabilities to other markets which have an increasing need to regulate their electricity systems as a result of the great expansion of renewables.”
Stronger Nordic network
Kristian Gustafsson underlines the importance of following up projects such as Viking Link by a stronger network between the Nordic countries.
“We have repeatedly seen that the links between the Nordic region and Great Britain are among the most profitable projects in Europe in socio-economic terms, as they interlink Sweden and Norway’s hydro power, which can be regulated, with the very extensive expansion of wind power in Great Britain. In order to attain its full potential, therefore, it is important for this to be complemented by a stronger network in the Nordic region.”