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Big blow for Norway-UK interconnector as licence application gets rejected

Norway‘s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has denied NorthConnect’s license application for a new overseas connection between Norway and Britain after an assessment.

The 1,400MW subsea power cable would connect Norway and Scotland.

Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland has said that a power system that meets power supply objectives at all times is crucial and Norway needs the output capacity in hydropower and will not expose it to further export.

Aasland believes that the consequences of establishing a new overseas cable indicate that a license will not be granted for the project.

Although the NorthConnect project was previously assessed as socio-economically profitable by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), other considerations have been emphasised by the ministry.

Limitations in grid capacity between northern and southern parts of the country, uncertainty of increased exposure of the Norwegian power system to energy systems in other countries, major changes underway in the Norwegian and European energy system and power market are among the factors that have been considered.

Research and Higher Education Minister Ola Borten Moe has stressed that Norway needs to use Norwegian energy to build Norwegian industry and contribute to competitive prices in Norway.

He has emphasised that the experience gained from the last two foreign cables indicates that further exports should not be planned for now.

Increasing exchange capacity may become relevant in the future, but this will be several years ahead, officials have said.

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