The Netherlands and the UK plan to build world’s highest capacity cross-border electricity link, transferring 1.8GW of power between the two counties. 

The LionLink interconnector will connect the two countries with offshore wind farms, providing energy security and decreasing their dependence on imports from Russia. The multi-use power line will be built under the North Sea, transferring enough energy to power 1.8 million homes, says the UK government press release. The UK’s National Grid and Dutch power operator Tennet will develop the interconnector. 

The LionLink would link the Netherlands and the UK while also connecting with other offshore wind farms in the North Sea. The cross-border electricity line is only second of its kind to the one built between Germany and Denmark. However, it will carry four times the electricity of its predecessor. 

Decreasing dependence on Russian energy imports

The announcement comes ahead of the discussions at the North Sea Summit, where energy ministers from nine European countries will commit to quadrupling offshore wind energy capacity by the end of the decade. The LionLink project comes as part of the countries’ aim for a combined offshore wind capacity of 120GW in the North Sea by 2030, increasing to 300GW by 2050. 

Grant Shapps, the UK’s energy security secretary, said “Together with the strong ties we have with our northern European neighbours united today at the North Sea Summit, we are bolstering our energy security and sending a strong signal to Putin’s Russia that the days of his dominance over global power markets are well and truly over.”

The UK plans to build upto 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, while Germany plans 26GW and the Netherlands 21GW. Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands also intend to form a cluster of artificial “energy islands”. These would act as transformers, power relays, and logistics hubs for offshore wind power development. Denmark is already developing VindØ, an energy island assisting production of 3GW of power by 2033. 

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This collaboration between the countries also includes protection of offshore assets from cybersecurity crimes and preventing damage to marine life and local communities.