The world’s longest undersea power line was ready to start sending electricity from Norway to Great Britain on a trial basis on Friday. The cable is controversial, though, and the subject of ongoing political debate.
The cable that runs from Kvildal in Rogaland on Norway’s southwest coast to the North Sea Links plant north of Newcastle is expected to provide Norwegian power to 1.4 million British households. It’s also expected help ease an energy crunch for the British, who face a lack of gas- and wind power that’s sent utility bills soaring.
Norwegians, though, are also facing record-high electricity bills because of low reservoir levels for the country’s hydroelectric plants. Politicians from the Center Party, currently in negotiations to form a new left-center government in Norway, are among those who continue to complain that Norway shouldn’t export its power at a time when it’s needed at home. They haven’t been happy about power lines and gas pipes from Norway to Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark either.
Others point out that the new 720-kilometer-long cable can also send British wind power to Norway when the winds blow strongly enough. Both countries currently face an energy crisis but can also aid one another in the future, it’s argued, especially at a time when renewable energy from both wind and water can help prod along the so-called “green shift” from fossil fuels.