Germany and Norway on Thursday inaugurated an undersea power cable designed to facilitate the exchange of renewable energy as Europe’s largest economy seeks to phase out coal and nuclear power.
NordLink, one of the longest submarine cables in the world, runs 623 kilometers (388 miles) from the town of Tonstad in southern Norway to the mouth of the Elbe in northern Germany .
The cable will allow wind or solar power produced in Germany to be exchanged for hydroelectric power produced in Norway, helping the two countries fill production gaps caused by fluctuations in wind, sun or heat levels. rain.
Providing enough electricity for around 3.6 million homes, NordLink has been operational since April but was officially opened Thursday by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Merkel described the project as “a very big step… towards a sustainable and therefore future proof energy supply” for Germany.
“In this way, the fluctuating electricity production can be compensated immediately – which will be a major task with the increasing expansion of renewables,” she said.
Germany plans to phase out nuclear power by 2022 and coal by 2038.
He also set more ambitious targets this month to cut CO2 emissions after a landmark ruling by the country’s highest court declared a landmark climate protection law “insufficient.”
Under the new targets, the German government plans to reduce emissions by 65% by 2030 from 1990 levels, going further than the previous reduction target of 55%.
The reduction will reach 88% by 2040, with the aim of bringing Germany to carbon neutrality by 2045, five years ahead of schedule.
Renewable energies accounted for half of German electricity production for the first time in 2020, up from 25% less than ten years ago, according to the Fraunhofer research institute.
The NordLink project “is an important step for Germany’s energy transition and the integration of the European electricity system,” Thorsten Lenck of think-tank Agora Energiewende told AFP.
Interconnectivity between different countries is also one of the central pillars of the European Union’s climate strategy.
Cross-border projects are already underway between Norway and the Netherlands, the Netherlands and Great Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands.
© 2021 AFP