Alyn Hails 690,000 Euros Renewables North Sea Infrastructure Boost

20 March 2012
SNP Member of the European Parliament's Energy Committee Alyn Smith has today (Tuesday) hailed the announcement of a significant EU cash grant towards the NorthConnect interconnector between Peterhead on the Scottish mainland and Norway as a taster of the significant potential EU support for Scotland's renewables potential.
The project has been awarded 690,000 Euros towards a detailed feasibility study from the TEN-E budget, and will provide a major confidence boost to the first electricity interconnector joining the Scottish and Scandinavian electricity markets, as well as path-finding the wiring up of the North Sea for renewables development.
 
Alyn said:

"I'm delighted for the project team, hats off to them!  690,000 Euros is a significant boost, and there's plenty more where that came from!
 
"We in Scotland are serious about making our renewable potential a reality, about selling our clean green energy to the European market and we'll need infrastructure that is fit for purpose.  In an unstable world our European partners are just as keen to see the development of our glittering potential to provide secure clean green energy, and are willing to put hard cash towards those common ambitions.
 
"Scotland has historically been cruelly underrepresented in umpteen EU budgets, largely because the UK government has little interest in applying.  I came in for some criticism some time ago when I said we should be "all over the EU's budgets" but we have the right idea and I'm confident this is not the last EU renewables boost we shall hear of.
 
"Given there is such a clear commonality of interests across the continent, and given the scale of investment required, we are going to need to work across borders.  What better framework for that is there than the EU?"
 
For further background the NorthConnect Press Release is below:

UK-NORWAY INTERCONNECTOR AWARDED EU FUNDING

EU support confirms importance of energy infrastructure project

(Brussels/Perth/Stockholm 20 March 2012) NorthConnect, the interconnector development company jointly owned by Vattenfall, SSE and three Norwegian companies, E-CO Energi, Agder Energi and Lyse, has received €690,000 funding from the European Union, for conducting a preliminary study about constructing an interconnector between the United Kingdom and Norway. The funding is part of the TEN-E framework programme that supports projects that contribute to the development of a pan-European electricity network, to interconnect national electricity networks. The decision to fund the preliminary study of NorthConnect confirms the importance of this energy infrastructure project.

When in operation, NorthConnect will be the first interconnector to directly connect the UK’s electricity network with Scandinavia and will contribute to enhanced security of energy supply in both the Scandinavian and the UK market. Furthermore it will facilitate the development of renewable generation in both regions, as the high penetration of wind generation in UK and hydro-energy in Scandinavia complement each other. From a pan-European perspective, NorthConnect will make an significant contribution towards the development of the internal European market for electricity, with increased competition between regions in Northern Europe, and a cost-efficient realisation of the targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy in Europe.

NorthConnect is a so-called entrepreneurial interconnector and will provide the same physical infrastructure as any regulated Interconnector. Consequently, NorthConnect will support the realisation of the Energy Policy targets in the same way as any regulated interconnector. The European Commission has estimated that the coming decade at least €140 billion is needed to upgrade the European electricity network. To meet this huge challenge entrepreneurial projects will be needed in addition to the traditional regulated projects.

NorthConnect will have a capacity of 1,400 MW and is due to be commissioned before 2020.