WindEurope 2024: EU-UK urged to drop interconnector ‘frictions’

National Grid Ventures President Katie Jackson has called for greater EU-UK regulatory alignment to pave the way for more electricity interconnectors.

She told WindEurope 2024 about the need to ease post-Brexit “headwinds and frictions” as energy minister Andrew Brodie heads to Brussels for a key bilateral meeting on future cross-border energy trading arrangements.

Jackson said that six direct end-to-end interconnectors had been built in the last 30 years but that transmission system owners needed politicians to give “clear regulatory certainty” if any more were to go ahead.

She added: “We need to alleviate frictions on how we coordinate planning and revenue sharing between EU members states and third countries like the UK.

“If we don’t then consumers will miss out on maximising the value of all that investment and maximising the value of the North Sea wind resource.

“We see it as a shared challenge and we need a shared political approach, not the EU and the UK being separate. We must not forget that we are already connected and need to be more connected in future.”

DESNZ Director General for Energy Infrastructure Ashley Ibbett said that closer ties already existed following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and the North Seas Energy Cooperation in December 2022.

This commits all parties to cooperating on the development of offshore wind projects including grids and electricity transmission.

Ibbett said: “We see significant mutual benefit to cooperating deeply with our European partners at an institutional level and member states.

“We offer significant [offshore generation] assets and interconnectors pose a hugely complicated technical challenge and a hugely complicated regulatory system beside that.

“We are keen to work with them and a key ask would be to work together to make progress on those future arrangements.”

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