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Work launches on world’s longest subsea power cable

The UK’s National Grid and Denmark’s Energinet has begun work on the world’s longest subsea power cable. The €2 billion Viking Link project, a 475-mile-long (765 km) cable, is being built in Lincolnshire. It will run between the UK and Denmark in order to share green energy between the two countries.

The Guardian writes:

By 2023, the high-voltage, direct-current link will transmit the equivalent of enough electricity to power 1.5 million British homes between Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire and the South Jutland region in Denmark.

The Viking Link will be longer than the 450-mile North Sea link, which will import hydropower from Norway to the UK from 2021.

And the subsea power cable system works both ways: When the UK generates too much green power, it will be exported via the subsea power cables to its partner countries, and vice versa.

The UK currently has about 5GW of power cable capacity that connects the UK’s electricity system to power in France, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Ireland. By 2025, this capacity is expected to rise to 25GW. The UK will also connect to Germany and Belgium.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s minister for energy and clean growth, said:

It will… bolster our energy security, reduce bills for consumers, and give our homegrown renewable generators a greater chance to export zero-carbon electricity around the world.

Electrek’s Take

This is extremely cool. We particularly like the sharing of green energy to balance out the ebb and flow produced by wind and solar. The subsea power cables, known as interconnectors, allow electricity networks to be more adaptable.

According to a 2018 paper published in Science Direct, subsea power cable installation increases noise, pollution, turbidity, and physical disturbance. Further, there are uncertainties about electromagnetic field impacts. But overall impacts on ecosystems are considered minor or short-term.

The benefits of subsea power cables to exchange green energy outweigh the negatives by far.

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.