UK, Denmark study power cable to swap wind energy

LONDON Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:02pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Wind power producers Britain and Denmark are studying options to build a power cable between them to import and export renewable energy and increase market competition, the countries' grid operators said on Monday.

Britain's National Grid and Denmark's Energinet.dk will publish an initial interconnector study by the end of this year, detailing potential landing points, capacity and how a cable could integrate into a North Sea super grid to connect offshore wind power.

An interconnector could help the two countries manage the flow of intermittent renewable energy by sending electricity from a region producing excess power to one that has a shortfall at any given moment, also smoothing out price differences.

"Both Great Britain and Denmark are planning for integration of future very high amounts of wind power. Therefore, the study will also look at how the new cable would help both countries export and import renewable power," said Torben Glar Nielsen, executive vice president of Energinet.dk's electricity division.

Britain and Denmark together hold over 10 percent of the European Union's installed onshore and offshore wind power capacity, at more than 10 gigawatts (GW), and both countries have ambitious targets to increase renewable energy production.

Denmark aims to retrieve 50 percent of its electricity consumption from renewable energy sources by 2020 and Britain has set its renewable energy share target at 15 percent of all energy consumption by the same year.

Britain also has plans to connect to Norway and Belgium and to increase power capacity to France and Ireland, while Denmark is building a new link to Norway and studying building an interconnector to the Netherlands.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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