The UK could save up to £1 billion every year if it were to double its interconnector capacity by the end of the decade, according to a new report.
It estimates each 1GW of new interconnector capacity could also reduce Britain’s wholesale power prices by up to 2% – and between 4GW-5GW of new links in total could unlock nearly £3 million of benefits per day to energy consumers by 2020.
“This benefit will arise because the analysis expects British wholesale electricity prices to remain higher than those in neighbouring countries into the early 2020s, benefiting British consumers through net imports”, National Grid said.
Interconnectors are transmission cables which allow electricity to flow between countries and can be used to import or export power. The UK currently has four of them, linking the nation to France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland – totalling 4GW and representing around 5% of the existing electricity generation capacity.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “Increasing the number of interconnectors to Europe is one of my priorities as it will help reduce consumer bills and add to Britain’s energy security. These power links to Europe will make an energy single market a reality.”
Between 2008 to 2012, Britain imported nearly four times more electricity than it exported, with imports eight times greater than exports in 2012, National Grid claims.