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Written by Owen Evans
A new power line that will connect offshore wind farms between the UK and the Netherlands will deliver enough electricity to “power more homes than Manchester and Birmingham combined,” according to the UK government
On Monday, the government said LionLink will be the “world’s largest multi-use electricity power line” and claimed it will boost UK energy supplies with “enough to power 1.8 million homes.”
However net-zero critics called the move “risky” as countries may not always have the capacity to export electricity themselves.
LionLink will connect the two countries to each other and to offshore wind farms in the North Sea and is due to be operational by the early 2030s, the government said.
The government also signed an agreement on renewable energy cooperation with EU and North Seas countries. The initiative is expected to support UK targets to increase offshore wind five-fold to 50 gigawatts by 2030.
The UK currently sends and receives electricity through cables that link to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway.
The cross-border electricity line will be the second of its kind in the world, with the first being built by Germany and Denmark.
The government claimed it will be able to carry more than four times the amount of electricity as its predecessor—1.8 gigawatts compared with 0.4 gigawatts—making it “the largest of its kind in terms of capacity anywhere in the world.”
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Grant Shapps said:
“Today’s historic deal with the Netherlands connects our two countries together through this exciting feat of innovation and engineering—the largest of its kind in the world which will provide enough electricity for more homes than in Manchester and Birmingham combined.
Together with the strong ties we have with our northern European neighbours united today at the North Sea Summit, we are bolstering our energy security and sending a strong signal to Putin’s Russia that the days of his dominance over global power markets are well and truly over.”
LionLink will be developed by National Grid Ventures and TenneT.
A ‘Risky’ strategy
Net Zero Watch Director Benny Peiser told The Epoch Times that being reliant on another country’s renewable energy was a “risky policy.”
Net Zero Watch is a think tank that scrutinises climate and decarbonisation policies.
“The idea that Holland has the capacity to export electricity when they are struggling to power their own country is just laughable,” he said.
Holland still has a price cap that applies for gas, electricity, and district heating for households to help with the energy crisis. Last year, the Dutch government said that it expected to spend about 23.5 billion euros (£20.8 billion) on this.
Peiser noted that Britain is already quite dependent on energy imports from Norway, a country that has previously warned it may need to cut power exports to other countries.
He said that to be reliant on importing electricity from countries that have their own electricity problems “is a very, very risky thing to do.”
He added that during periods of low or no wind, these countries will have to provide enough electricity for themselves and will have no spare capacity.
According to a report by Copernicus, the Earth Observation component of the European Union’s space programme, in 2021 parts of northwestern and central Europe experienced some of the lowest annual average wind speeds since at least 1979.
It added that low winds especially during prolonged periods known as “wind droughts” can have “increasingly important socio-economic implications through reducing or inhibiting wind power generation.”
“It’s not only making electricity more expensive, obviously, because we’re talking here about renewable energy which is more expensive, costs haven’t come down, but it is a real threat to energy security as well,” said Peiser.
“You cannot rely on these interconnectors in a situation that is dominated by renewables when every European country will be struggling to power their own nations and their own economy,” he added.
Ben Pile, co-founder of Climate Debate, told The Epoch Times by email that “interconnectors are no substitute for generating capacity, and they presuppose that a surplus will exist, on one or other side.”
“But since the European Union is on the same path to absurd and undemocratic energy policy as the UK, this surplus is increasingly unlikely to exist, ” he said.
Pile said that he believed the demand for power “will also increase on both sides of the interconnector as policies also require the electrification of heat and transport.”
“Interconnectors do nothing more than serve as extremely expensive monuments to the government’s failure to take energy seriously. The 1.8 million homes that the government claim will be served by this new project are more likely to be let down by its false promise,” he added.
Surplus of Wind-Generated Electricity
In a statement, the Netherlands’ climate and energy minister Rob Jetten said:
“With the North Sea becoming the largest supplier of green electricity for the Netherlands and large parts of Europe, we are ready to expand the interconnection between the two countries.”
“LionLink provides close to two gigawatts of electricity to both countries, enough to power two million households,” he said.
Jetten said that this new connection “further boosts energy security and energy independence in Europe.”
“Close collaboration on offshore wind energy and interconnection amongst the North Sea countries is imperative.”
“So in case there is a surplus of wind-generated electricity, it can be shared instantly to locations with a shortage of power, and vice versa,” he added.
The Epoch Times contacted the UK government for comment.
See more here theepochtimes
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