The start-up today 1 April of the grid interconnection between the UK and the Netherlands is a major step forward for a better interconnected electricity grid in Europe, says the European Wind Energy Association. The EWEA is a strong supporter of an integrated power grid in Europe and believes that the BritNed link “going live” today is very significant.

“The 600 million Euro investment for the 260 kilometres long high voltage direct current cable with a power capacity of 1000 Megawatt between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands will provide a substantial boost to electricity trade between these two market regions. This will ultimately serve for an optimised power system operation and smoothen out the variable output of wind power plants over a large geographical area. Europe is still far from a truly integrated electricity market, but every step towards a single market helps the cost efficient integration of renewable electricity generation like wind power”, said Paul Wilczek, EWEA grids advisor in Brussels today.

The launch of this interconnector is an important step forward in the integration of European electricity markets, but alongside grid upgrades, market rules are also needed that lead to an efficient allocation of wind power and other renewable generation capacity.