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New power links to Europe planned

In the period leading up to 2020, Norway’s Statnett is planning to establish four new cable connections between Norway and continental Europe, with a total capacity of up to 4200 MW.

Stanett says more international interconnectors will aid the development of tomorrow’s energy supply in Norway and Europe, based on renewable energy. The new projects will be self-financed, and profits will help reduce grid tariffs for Norwegian households.

With substantial hydroelectric power production facilities, established through many generations, 98 per cent of the electricity currently generated in Norway comes from hydropower. This is about twice as much as in any other country in Europe. 60–70 percent of the hydroelectric power comes from mountain reservoirs.

Statnett says in a press release that reservoir-based hydroelectric power has high regulating capacity which means that it can be generated as and when required. Consequently, hydropower is in demand and could become an important resource for Europe as wind power becomes increasingly common. Wind power is also a renewable source of energy, though less stable than hydropower. During periods of light or no winds, hydropower can help reduce CO2 emissions from coal power plants and gasworks. Statnett’s new connections to continental Europe open new opportunities for Norway through increased value creation, more stable electricity tariffs, greater competition in the electricity market and a more robust electricity supply. These advantages apply to all of Statnett’s cable projects.

However, Statnett says, more cables to shore and a greater proportion of wind power will make the daily operation of the electricity system more challenging than is currently the case. It will mean that Statnett, as the system operator, will have an even more complex task of overseeing operations, maintaining the international interconnections and seeing these tasks in conjunction with the electricity system and the general power situation in Norway.

(Press release)