What if the renewable power generation opportunity is not where the electricity is needed?

Construction on the longest under water high voltage cable in the world is about to begin. Due for completion in 2023, this cable will run from Denmark to the UK covering 475 miles. It will leave Denmark in Revsing, and make landfall in UK in Lincolnshire.

This this cable will have the capacity to power 1.5 million houses, which given that there is currently just under 30 million houses in the UK this would account for roughly 5% of domestic electricity necessary to go carbon neutral.

it would also be possible for the UK to export electricity to Denmark on occasions where we had an excess that they could use.

If we are to fully decarbonise these sorts of links are going to become essential. Sometimes the sun is covered by cloud, sometimes the wind does not blow; however neither happens across the whole world. If we can send power from different parts of the world this allows regions that are otherwise poor in resources to make money in new ways.

Another example that is underway is high power cables running from the Sahara desert up into Europe: while the the outskirts of the Sahara desert can support all sorts of life, there is little that can survive the harsh climates within the centre of the Sahara. If this area was covered in high efficient solar panels it could power much of Europe-and being a desert there is little cloud cover so it would be far more reliable both as an income for countries around it and as a power source for countries who benefit.

There are parts of the world for which this would be far more complicated, such as Australia that is likely to remote for these huge cables. However if projects like this allows countries to sell their excess energy a good prices, it incentivises an acceleration of the race towards clean energy-something that almost all scientists on earth agree needs to happen.

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