Norway, Germany open power link to boost EU green energy supply


Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (on screen) attend the official opening of NordLink, the first electricity connection between Norway and Germany, in Oslo, Norway on May 27, 2021. Gorm Kallestad / NTB / via REUTERS

  • Norway to export green hydropower to Germany
  • Norway to receive surplus German wind production
  • Norway wants to become a green battery for Europe

OSLO, May 27 (Reuters) – Germany and Norway on Thursday officially launched NordLink, a direct power cable between the two countries that will provide green power to Europe’s largest economy at a time when it gradually eliminates polluting coal-fired electricity.

Norway’s power generation is almost exclusively hydropower-based and its large reservoirs allow it to control its renewable energy production and also fill gaps in Germany’s intermittent supply from wind power plants. and solar.

The cable will help transform Norway, which is also Western Europe’s largest oil and gas exporter, into a green energy hub for the region, the new head of the grid operator told Reuters. state transport (GRT) Statnett.

“NordLink is not only a German-Norwegian bilateral project, but we are also setting a milestone for modern energy supply across Europe,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Norway is already connected to the Netherlands via the NordNed 700 megawatt (MW) submarine interconnector and to Denmark via the Skagerrak connection, which consists of four cables with a capacity of 1,700 MW.

Later this year, Statnett and its UK counterpart National Grid (NG.L) are expected to complete the first direct link between the two countries, the 1,400 MW North Sea Link cable.

“The fact that we now have these interconnections makes us a renewable energy hub in Europe and also allows us to take a new step in offshore wind,” Statnett chief executive Hilde Tonne told Reuters.

Norway exported 20.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) net of electricity in 2020. This equates to 15% of the electricity produced by Germany from lignite and hard coal last year, according to data from the group. German pressure BDEW.


Norway is also preparing to build offshore wind farms in the North Sea, with the first licenses due to be awarded this year. Some farms could be linked to Norway as well as to the rest of Europe. Read more

“(NordLink) will contribute to a more efficient use of energy resources and lay the foundations for new investments in the production of renewable energy,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Critics say foreign cables could push up Norwegian electricity prices, however, and long-standing plans for a link to Scotland have been postponed indefinitely amid political opposition.

The € 1.8 billion ($ 2.2 billion) NordLink cable is owned by Statnett (STASF.UL) and German network company Tennet as well as German public bank KfW (KFW.UL). It has been in commercial operation since the end of March, after a four-month trial.

At 623 km (387 miles), it is the longest underwater electrical interconnector in the world and has a capacity of 1,400 MW, enough to supply 3.6 million German homes with renewable energy.

In times of high winds, wholesale electricity prices are very low, and sometimes even negative, which means buyers are paid to take the surplus renewable electricity.

Norway expects to import electricity from Germany when prices are low and to export electricity when wind and solar production declines and pushes up the cost of electricity.

However, network bottlenecks in Germany will limit cable use until 2026.

This year, NordLink only guarantees that Norway will be able to use 11.7% of the cable capacity to export to Germany, although in practice the available capacity often exceeds this figure. By 2026, the minimum capacity is expected to reach 70%.

($ 1 = 0.8161 euros)

Report by Nora Buli, edited by Gwladys Fouché

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


About Author

Leave A Reply