UK 'could save £1bn with links'

New analysis prepared for UK transmission system operator National Grid has highlighted savings of some £1bn ($1.66bn) a year if the country could double it interconnector capacity by the end of the decade.

According to the figures, if Britain could step up from its current four interconnectors, which have a combined 4GW capacity, to a fleet with a total throughput potential of 8-9GW, it could cut wholesale power prices by as much as 2%.

It would also take the UK closer to the European benchmark of having interconnectors making up 10% of generation capacity.

“Increasing the number of interconnectors to Europe is one of my priorities, as it will help reduce consumer bills and add to Britain's energy security,” says UK secretary of state for energy Ed Davey.

“These power links to Europe will make an energy single market a reality, which is something successive British governments have pushed for but with only limited success to date.”

National Grid’s director of European business development Peter Boreham adds: “This analysis makes a compelling case for the UK to press ahead with more interconnection with benefits for the economy, consumers and the environment.

“There’s broad support from the UK government, European institutions and energy regulators, and a willingness from developers like us to make the necessary investment."

Britain currently has interconnectors representing around 5% of its existing electricity generation capacity connecting it with France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland.