Britain has officially classified a proposal to construct an undersea cable for transmitting renewable energy from Morocco as a project of “national importance,” providing substantial support for a venture aligned with the strategic goals of both Morocco and the United Kingdom.
Xlinks, an enterprise chaired by former Tesco CEO Dave Lewis, aims to lay down 3,800 kilometers of undersea cables to deliver solar and wind energy from the Moroccan Sahara to seven million British households by 2030.
Although Xlinks views the government’s acknowledgment of its initiative as a significant achievement, numerous obstacles remain.
In addition to constructing the world’s lengthiest high-voltage direct current undersea cable, Xlinks must secure additional financing, establish long-term pricing agreements, and obtain permission to traverse Spanish and French waters.
This first-of-its-kind project will generate 10.5 gigawatts of carbon-free electricity from the sun and wind to provide 3.6 gigawatts of reliable energy for more than 20 hours a day on average, enough for more than 7 million British homes.
Once completed, the project will be able to meet 8% of Britain’s electricity needs.
This project is yet another ambitious plan for Morocco’s expansive clean energy production aim, which will not only help the Kingdom meet its clean energy goals, but station it as a primary clean energy exporter to neighboring Europe.
Xlinks asserts that the project would generate nearly 10,000 employment opportunities in Morocco, with 2,000 of them being permanent positions, and it aligns with the nation’s energy export strategy.
Claire Coutinho, the new UK energy security and net-zero minister, stated in a press release that the project holds national significance due to its potential to assist the UK in moving away from fossil fuels.
The statement reads, “The proposed project could play a crucial role in facilitating an energy system that aligns with the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and the government’s goals of ensuring a secure, dependable, and affordable energy supply for consumers.”