Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Victoria's Green Matters - 5th May 2011
There has been a HVDC cable in place between France and the UK for 25 years and the first one since then started operations in March this year and runs from the Isle of Grain, in Kent, to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Electricity has flowed from the Netherlands to the UK for most of the time since the start. More cables are planned to be in operation by 2020, including links from the UK to France, Belgium and Norway. The next cable to become operational in 2012 will run from North Wales to Dublin.
Another exciting development being considered is the sharing of Iceland’s immense geothermal energy reserves, which are constant, and while talks are ongoing, the main problem to overcome after agreement has been reached between nations is the distance between Iceland and Scotland. The longest cable to date is 580 km and the length required would be about 1,300 km.
Critics of renewable energy generation always cite the unreliability and unpredictability of wind and solar power. The European supergrid will go a long way to alleviate worries about the inconsistency of renewables and enable energy to be shared by neighbouring countries.