Norway – Germany: the missing link

There are many connections between Norway and Germany on several levels, but what is still missing is a direct link between their electricity networks. 2017 saw two financing agreements signed to change this situation. First, in April, the EIB provided a EUR 350 million loan to TenneT Holding B.V. Then, in June, it signed a EUR 300 million loan agreement with the Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett.

Both commitments serve to co-finance ‘NordLink’, the first submarine interconnection between Norway and Germany across the North Sea. The bipolar High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) link will have a capacity of 1,400 MW and a total route length of 624 km. The two separate agreements cover the German and the Norwegian sides of the project respectively.

NordLink will allow the export of surplus hydro generation from Norway to Germany. It will also enable Norway to import power from Germany at times of lower hydro production. The project will therefore improve the diversification and security of supply in both countries and support the further integration of electricity markets between northwest European and Scandinavian countries.

Climate benefits will be significant from the first year of operation, with an estimated reduction of 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. The project will also avoid a decrease in renewable energy generation, such as wind and solar, by an estimated 100 gigawatt hours. These benefits are expected to grow even larger over time.