Two European Union-backed projects to export French electricity to Britain via subsea power cables have been thrown into doubt after officials in France raised concerns about the impact of Brexit on their profitability. The projects to build 1,000 megawatt and 1,400 megawatt interconnectors running beneath the English Channel between Normandy to Hampshire and Devon are a key plank of UK plans to ensure reliable future electricity supplies. Once built, together they will supply Britain with the equivalent of the output of two Sizewell B nuclear power stations, enough to meet the needs of 2.5 million homes. The projects will cost more than £1 billion to build, for which they have received €13 million of EU funding. The links could also be used to export UK electricity to France. However, Clive Moffatt, an energy consultant, said that there was “definite uncertainty” over how Brexit would affect the cost of importing or exporting electricity. He said that developers were increasingly concerned about possible trade restrictions that might make it “commercially unviable” to build the links. “These issues have not been resolved,” he said. “It’s going to take a while.” A final decision was due by the end of December, with contracts awarded for the first 240km link to Fareham near Portsmouth, known as IFA2, by its developers, National Grid and RTE, the French electric grid operator. But National Grid has confirmed that a final decision on the £590 million scheme has been delayed until next year, after French officials expressed concern about the implications of Brexit for the terms of the project.
Times 26th Dec 2016 read more »