EU investment will connect UK to European energy grids

The EU has invested €75m in the UK energy infrastructure, including €40m to help secure the UK's energy supply by connecting it to other European grids.

The funding is part of a €647m EU electricity interconnection package, administered by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which will allow power to be transferred between countries in case of shortages.

UK projects that were greenlit include the longest proposed subsea cable in the world – the NSN interconnector linking us to Norwegian hydropower – and two interconnectors to France.

The first of these two Anglo-French cables – ElecLink – will utilise the existing infrastructure of the Channel Tunnel, while the second – the France-Alderney-Britain Link – will harness future tidal power being developed on the Channel Island.

Lower bills

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “This is excellent news for the UK and Europe. The Commission’s decision to fast-track funding is a real boost to getting these projects built. The €40m awarded to interconnector projects linking the UK to Norway and France will help strengthen energy security and deliver lower energy bills.”

The remaining cash will support gas infrastructure.

The CEF provides funding for projects that have clear benefits beyond national borders but are not commercially viable for Member States.

A total of €5.85bn has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure over the next six years, with another round of funding expected in early 2015.

EU energy targets

Last week European leaders committed to a 2030 deadline to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40%, and to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use by at least 27%.

Climate activists where underwhelmed by the targets, describing them as “dangerously irresponsible”, and “a fudge”. However big business seemed more welcoming, as the CBI said the targets were the “right result”, and laid a “firm foundation” for Paris 2015.

Brad Allen

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