The submarine electric cable project linking Morocco to the United Kingdom, Xlinks, was cited recently in the UK Government’s new Policy Paper on the country’s Energy Security Plan. The Executive headed by Rishi Sunak has indicated that it is studying its potential, its viability and its merits, but “without commitment”.
The British government seems to have placed Xlinks, the submarine cable electrical interconnection project linking Morocco to the United Kingdom, in its future prospects after the emergence, in recent months, of some uncertainties about its implementation. .
The document ” Powering Up Britain: Energy Security Plan” published this week by the British government and whose MoroccoLatestNews EN holds a copy, mentions the project in the section “Transversal developments” alongside the projects ” to consider” and which could contribute to the UK’s energy security. relying on diversified sources of supply and relationships with strong and trusted partners and allies such as Morocco.
“As we set out in the UK Energy Security Strategy, we are actively exploring the potential of international projects to provide clean, affordable and secure energy”say the authors.
“For example, the government is interested in the Xlinks project, a wind, solar and land-based battery power generation site in Morocco that would exclusively supply electricity to the UK grid via submarine current cables. continuous and high voltage »we read in the Policy Paper.
“The government is considering – without committing – the viability and merits of the proposal to determine whether it could contribute to UK energy security,” it said..
London and Rabat should be linked in the near future thanks to an undersea electric cable that the company Xlinks will develop. This is a project that will send combined solar and wind power from Morocco to the UK. The realization of this operation should cost an envelope of approximately 22 billion dollars.
“ This Xlinks Morocco-UK Power project, the first of its kind, will meet 8% of UK electricity demand with renewables, reducing consumer bills and increasing security of supply in the process commented Simon Morrish, CEO of Xlinks.
Indeed, the project aims to supply around 8% of the electricity in the United Kingdom from Moroccan production and to supply around 7 million British households with low-cost electricity by 2030.
Remember that the British company Xlinks is preparing the construction of a solar power plant capable of generating 10 GW in the Guelmim-Oued Noun region. The project should mobilize 150,000 hectares to house the photovoltaic solar park, the wind turbines as well as the 5 GW land battery intended to store the energy produced on site.
To establish this interconnection, Xlinks will rely on four 3,800 kilometer HVDC cables which will be laid by a special vessel currently under construction. Note that HVDC is a proven technology used in several international projects.
In addition to securing electricity in the UK, the construction of the Xlinks electricity project will create nearly 10,000 local jobs, of which 2,000 will become permanent.
It should be noted that the United Kingdom has had strong relations with Morocco for over 800 years. In June 2021, the UK entered into a partnership agreement affirming the continuity of trade and commerce after Brexit, and the Xlinks project is a way to strategically strengthen this relationship.
Morocco was also chosen for the realization of this project since it is a precursor in the development of large-scale and innovative projects, with an abundance of expertise in the country. It also has a very attractive investment environment, particularly in the field of energy.
In addition, the Kingdom enjoys excellent and constant terrestrial solar and wind resources thanks to its constant daylight hours, high solar intensity and wind speed. It has the third highest global horizontal irradiance (GHI) in North Africa. It is also 20% higher than Spain (the highest GHI in the EU) and more than double that of the UK.
It also has high solar intensity (34% solar load vs 11% UK) and wind speed (52% wind load vs 31% UK average).