Report: New UK-Germany power link will deliver major carbon cuts

A new interconnector between the UK and Germany will deliver significant carbon benefits, according to an independent new report.

Specifically, the NeuConnect link will help deliver a 16 million tonne reduction in CO2 – the equivalent of planting 28 million new trees or removing 400,000 cars off the road in a year.

NeuConnect is a privately-financed £1.4 billion interconnector that will create the first direct link between UK and German electricity networks, connecting two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time.

Over 700 kilometres of subsea cables will allow 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction.

The UK and Germany have set ambitious targets for ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2050, and the UK Government’s recent Energy White Paper included analysis that underlined the role interconnectors can play in decarbonisation targets.

With NeuConnect, the UK will be able to tap into significant renewable energy sources in northern Germany, while in the German market – where wind turbines are frequently powered-down due to excess energy being created – the link will help reduce ‘bottlenecks’ and curtailments by opening up an important new market for surplus renewable energy to be exported to.

To further assess NeuConnect’s contribution to UK, German and European decarbonisation objectives, global advisors FTI CL Consulting were commissioned to carry out a detailed analysis of the project.

The headline results of the FTI-CL report show NeuConnect will:

  • Result in a net reduction in carbon emissions of 16 MtCO2 over 25 years – the equivalent of planting 28 million new trees or removing 400,000 cars off the road in a year;
  • Play a significant role in enabling Europe to reach its Net Zero targets;
  • Facilitate greater integration of renewable generation between the UK and Germany while also improving the security of supply in each country.

Behind NeuConnect project is an international consortium led by Meridiam together with Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of Allianz Group and Kansai Electric Power, with the project also supported by Greenage Power and Frontier Power.

Gerry Grimstone, UK Government Minister for Investment, said:

“NeuConnect continues to be an important national project, with green investments such as this one making a vital contribution to the UK’s green ambitions as we build back better, and greener, from Covid-19.”

Julia Prescot, partner at Meridiam and Chair of the NeuConnect Board said:

“Investment in green energy is more important than ever, and this new report clearly shows the carbon benefits at the heart of the NeuConnect plans. In an important year on the project, there is a firm commitment to deliver this vital new energy link from all of the investors behind NeuConnect.”

NeuConnect CEO, Christophe Vanhove, said:

“As we target reaching financial close in 2021, this report gives us huge momentum as we head into an important year for the NeuConnect project.”

The delivery of the NeuConnect project continues to make progress, with a major procurement programme worth over £1 billion well underway, lands secured in the UK and Germany with local planning processes well advanced, 700 kilometres of seabed surveys completed, and the project receiving Project of Common Interest (PCI) status placing it on the list of Europe’s priority energy projects.