By DARA BUTTERFIELD
Interconnectors linking the UK to other EU states will for the first time be able to participate in the second four-year-ahead Capacity Market auction in 2015, designed to secure energy supply in the winter of 2019/2020.
The government believes that this move could save consumers up to £9 billion by 2040 by providing cheaper energy.
“We’re working tirelessly to get the best possible deal for British bill payers, and that includes linking us to other countries so that energy companies can buy low-carbon electricity from wherever it’s cheapest.
“Including interconnectors in the Capacity Market from next year shows the strongest signal yet to potential investors – building on the recent announcement of funding for interconnectors that will create new links to Norway, Belgium and France to almost double the power we can source from overseas, particularly from low carbon energy sources such as hydro, wind and nuclear.”
The Capacity Market is hoped to drive new investment in electricity infrastructure, as well as make sure that we get the most out of our existing power stations as the country moves to a low carbon electricity system. The first auction is on track to be held at the end of 2014.
There are currently several interconnector projects in the pipeline representing about £5 billion of private sector investment by 2020.