More interconnectors could push up energy costs and carbon emissions, says study

More interconnection with Europe will push up energy costs and carbon emissions, without ensuring security of supply, says a new report by Aurora Energy Research.

Aurora Energy Research, an independent energy market analytics firm, looked into the impact of new electricity interconnection with neighbouring markets including France, Norway and Belgium. The report said the three main risks of interconnection are:

  • Increased costs for consumers due to interconnector subsidies and charge exemptions financed through taxes and electricity bills
  • Total European CO2 emissions increase as gas-fired generation in the UK market is undercut by coal-fired generation in mainland Europe
  • More interconnection does not provide additional security of supply, as it displaces an equivalent amount of domestic baseload capacity  

However, the report said that these risks could bit mitigated: “Given the right policy and market conditions, interconnection has the capacity to contribute towards the three principal objectives of energy policy: affordability, decarbonisation and energy security.”

Power generation firm InterGen’s European general manager, Mike Novelli, said, “We welcome this timely contribution to the debate on UK energy policy and the consequences of excessive electricity interconnection with neighbouring UK markets. The scale of proposed new interconnection supported by generous subsidies will lead to the early closure of domestic electricity generation and limit new-build thermal generation. We do not believe this approach is in the interests of UK consumers.”

Read the full report: Dash for interconnection

Subscribers, note interconnector projects are listed alongside power plant in the New Power project database. Login to use the database, more details at http://www.newpower.info/database/

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