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Denmark Delays Netherlands Power Link, Integration to 2017

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Energinet.dk, the Danish transmission grid company, pushed back the first planned power cable to the Netherlands, delaying electricity integration.

A 700-megawatt cable, called Cobra, could be completed in 2017, a year later than planned by Energinet and its Dutch partner TenneT Holding BV, according to the Danish grid company’s revised strategy plan, issued on Dec. 14.

“This is a massive step backward for the Danish power system at a time when the country’s dependence on cross-border cables is growing,” Charlotte Soendergren, chief consultant at the Danish Energy Association, said by e-mail on Dec. 14.

Denmark is planning to boost electricity links to other countries as it prepares for the growing role of intermittent renewable sources of power, to help offset variable demand and supply.

Over the next eight years, the share of wind power in Danish electricity supply is set to almost double from last year’s 26 percent to 50 percent, increasing the country’s reliance on imports during periods of high demand, such as cold and dark winter afternoons.

Energinet also plans to establish a new land-based connection to Germany in 2018, in addition to a sea-based link via the planned Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea in 2019. Plans for a cable to the U.K. exist, without any firm timeframe.

The delayed Netherlands cable will put Denmark at a disadvantage, as other Nordic countries get a head start in boosting their links to the rest of Europe, according to the Danish lobby.

“While Energinet goes into hibernation, Norwegians are building new links to the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany, undermining both Denmark’s benefits from new cables and the country’s ability to optimize the balancing of our power system,” Soendergren said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Torsten Fagerholm in Helsinki at tfagerholm@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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