In order to connect the energy networks between Germany and Great Britain, the construction phase for a first, more than 700 kilometer long power cable between the two countries has begun in Wilhelmshaven.

Near the planned German landing point, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) symbolically turned the first sod together with the British Minister of State for Trade Policy, Gregory Hands, Lower Saxony’s Economics Minister Olaf Lies (SPD) and the chairwoman of the Neuconnect project company, Julia Prescot. The cable, which largely runs through the North Sea, is scheduled to go into operation in 2028.

Habeck: The goal is decarbonization

Vice Chancellor Habeck said the new power connection would provide flexibility in the transport of renewable energy. “The more interconnected Europe is, the larger the network, the more efficiently the system can be operated and controlled and the major goal of decarbonization, i.e. a climate-neutral power supply, can be achieved.”

In particular, surplus wind power, which is produced in the German North Sea but cannot currently be transported on land due to bottlenecks in the power grid, could be exported to Great Britain via the submarine cable. The UK is currently a net importer of electricity.

The line, called Neuconnect, will be able to transport up to 1.4 gigawatts of electricity in both directions – this corresponds roughly to the output of a nuclear power plant and, according to the project company, is enough energy for around 1.5 million households. The 725 kilometer long cable is intended to connect the German transmission network from Wilhelmshaven with the British network on the Isle of Grain in the English county of Kent at the mouth of the Thames. The investment costs of almost three billion euros will be borne by an international consortium.