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Cobra unleashes green energy flows between Denmark and Holland

By State of Green, September 09, 2019

For many years, the Danish electricity system has been connected to Norway, Sweden and Germany. As of midnight Sunday, the Netherlands can also be added to the list. Power from Danish wind turbines and solar cells can be now supply Dutch consumers directly via the so-called Cobra cable.

The Danish power system entered a new era, when the COBRAcable from Eemshaven in the Netherlands to Endrup in Denmark was opened on Monday. Electricity generated primarily by Danish wind turbines and , to a lesser extent, solar cells, now can be transported and sold to the Netherlands, whilst Denmark can get electricity from the Netherlands when needed.

Carsen Chachah, chief consultant at Danish Energy, underlined that the new connection supports the green transition in several ways:

“Connection will be an important element in the green transformation of our society. By exporting electricity to the Netherlands, when prices are higher there, we get maximum value out of the wind turbines and photovoltaic systems we have already set up. At the same time, it helps ensure that we can still supply Danes with electricity when the wind is not blowing, and therefore we have higher prices for electricity in Denmark. Finally, the new connection is a key to increasing the expansion of renewable energy in Denmark.”

– Relevant solution: Balancing a powergrid with 50 % wind power

Building on 43 years of experience

It has been 43 years since grid interconnectors have connected Denmark with its northern neighbours. Denmark already exchanges electricity with Norway, Sweden and Germany, and in recent decades, several of the connections have been expanded and strengthened. Construction on a cable to England is expected to commence in 2020.

“The special feature of the new relations with the Netherlands and later England is that they connect the Nordic countries and the huge resources of wind and hydro power more closely with the rest of Europe. In addition, the east-west links from Denmark to the Netherlands and England are particularly interesting because of the countries’ geographical location”, explains Carsten Chachah.

In total, the connections between Denmark and neighbouring countries can now transport an amount of electricity approximately equal to the total Danish electricity consumption.

Power the future

New technology means that future offshore wind farms in the North Sea can be connected directly to the cable, featuring in an offshore based electricity grid that operates across surrounding countries.

The North Sea and the sea wind are expected to play a crucial role in the supply of the future.

– Related solution: Test Centre for large wind turbines at Høvsøre

About COBRAcable

  • COBRAcable was named after the abbreviation of Copenhagen, Bruxelles and Amsterdam.
  • The cable is a 325 km long submarine DC cable between Netherlands and Denmark, plus a 24 km long land cable.
  • The cable can transmit 700 MW, which allows to import or export the equivalent of 700,000 households’ electricity consumption.
  • The connection was established by the Danish national TSO Energinet and the Dutch TSO TenneT.
  • The project has received financial support from the European Commission’s European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR).

Sources: Dansk Energi, Energy Supply, Energinet(in Danish)

Photo: Energinet

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