According to This is Money UK ministers are concerned about power blackouts over the next decade as Britain will not have enough electricity to meet rising demand.  To prevent this from happening, the government is exploring entering agreements with several European countries to obtain electricity through 11 undersea cables.

The Government plans to spend more than £5 billion laying 11 undersea power cables to allow Britain to import electricity from neighbouring countries and prevent blackouts in the next decade.

The giant cables would provide up to 10 GW of electricity, enough to power 2.4 million homes a year.

Ministers are said to be alarmed at Britain’s likely energy shortfall, made worse by the fact the country has less capacity to import power than any other in Europe.

Currently discussions are underway with the governments of Ireland, Belgium, Norway, Spain, Iceland and the authorities in the Channel Islands to allow 1000 miles of power cables to be laid to Britain.  The cables would allow Britain to import power from areas where there are surpluses to prevent blackouts in areas with shortages.

A 160-mile  cable between the Isle of Grain in north Kent and the Netherlands was laid earlier this year at a cost of £500 million.

Becoming more dependent on intermittent wind energy for its electricity, the UK is getting nervous that when the wind does not blow there could be power outages.

Cables become more important as countries become more dependent on wind power. A spokesman for the Department of Energy said: ‘Wind does not blow uniformly.  There will be times when the wind blows strongly in one area when it is becalmed in another. That is when interconnectors become important.’


 

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