28 November 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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New electricity cable between Norway and England heralds a new dawn
Adrian Leopard 140

New electricity cable between Norway and England heralds a new dawn

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A real positive move in the fight against carbon emissions

Cables under the sea are not unknown but certainly represent real challenges.

Probably the best known is the original long standing telegraph cable between Ireland and Newfoundland completed in 1858, but whilst that has been decommissioned, other cables have been laid since including that which carries internet traffic today. Indeed there are an amazing 380 or so cables with a length of nearly 750000 miles running across the pond.

The longest cable in the world is SEA-ME-WE3 at some 24000 miles and was led by France Telecom and China Telecom and administered by a Singapore company Singtel. It is a fascinating story and you can read more about it here:

But there is no doubt that an electricity cable to Norway is a really exciting development. Electricity cables undersea are not unknown – Jersey has had a cable electricity supply from France for many years, the original cable operating from 1984 to 2012, and that extends to Guernsey. A further cable from France to Alderney is scheduled and then on to Britain. Mind you, there are certain risks buying power from France which can get grumpy and recently threatened to withdraw the supply – all as a result of fishing policy. Britain bit back and is exploring the possibility of a cable from the Netherlands which is regarded as a “more reliable” supplier.

But a cable across the North Sea is great because the power made in Norway is so much greener because of the use of renewable resources and the reduction in carbon emissions will be enormous. Indeed it is anticipated that at times the power direction will reverse as the UK develops more of its own renewable resource power.

Think of the ramifications – put into transport for example the internal combustion engine will eventually be consigned to the museum and we will not be looking at those queues at petrol stations we have at the moment because of shortage of delivery drivers.

What is also quite clear from this is just how important international collaboration truly is; in a world where we seem to have dispute after dispute, what we need is good working relationships. Cheap and clean electricity can become available across the surface of the planet.

Of course what we also need is water to be as easily transported. That may bring some challenges but perhaps the existence of cheap electricity will mean it can be easily pumped. Imagine turning the Sahara Desert into lush green jungle, forest and market gardens!

We can but hope.

Adrian Leopard     03-10-21

Photo Kees Streefkerk

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