UK supports a transformative project to import renewable energy from Morocco via a subsea cable, aiming to power millions of homes with green energy.
The United Kingdom has endorsed a groundbreaking plan to construct a subsea cable to transport renewable energy from Morocco, declaring it a project of "national significance." This designation could expedite the resolution of planning obstacles, paving the way for a smoother implementation process.
According to Reuters, the company behind this ambitious project is Xlinks, chaired by former Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis. Xlinks aspires to construct 3,800 kilometers of subsea cables to channel solar and wind power from the Sahara, with the goal of supplying energy to 7 million British homes by 2030. The company has hailed the government's acknowledgment of its project as "a major milestone," although numerous challenges still lie ahead.
To realize this project, Xlinks not only has to construct the world's longest high-voltage direct current subsea cable but also needs to secure additional funding, finalize long-term pricing contracts, and obtain permissions to traverse Spanish and French waters. The project's estimated cost ranges between £20 billion and £22 billion, as disclosed by Lewis to the Financial Times.
Xlinks projects that the initiative will generate nearly 10,000 jobs in Morocco, with 2,000 becoming permanent, aligning with the country's energy export strategy. Claire Coutinho, the UK's new energy security and net zero minister, emphasized the national significance of the project due to its potential to aid Britain in transitioning away from fossil fuels.
The project, once completed, will see the cables coming onshore in southwest England. The designation of national significance means that the required infrastructure would receive approval from the government, bypassing local authorities.
This development comes amid heightened scrutiny of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's strategy to achieve Britain's net zero emissions target, especially after the dilution of targets on prohibiting new petrol cars and allegations of inadequate subsidies to domestic offshore wind farm developers.
This innovative project underscores the UK's commitment to exploring diverse avenues for renewable energy, reflecting a broader global shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly energy solutions.
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