Threat of Energy War in Europe

UPDATE. More about the function of the interconnections and the fragility of the British power system.

Blackout fears over National Grid cables from the Continent _ Business _ The Times

Britain’s electricity system is sufficiently fragile at certain times
of day that if one of the subsea “interconnectors” tripped while
importing at full capacity, it could trigger power cuts like those
of August 9.

Macron threatens to cut the interconnector to Britain.

Following the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Mr Macron told French radio that if the UK does not allow French fishermen in its waters, the EU would have to block the UK’s energy supplies to the European market.

He suggested the right to fish in British waters was worth 650 million euros to EU fishermen, but that access to European energy markets was worth up to £2.3billion (€2.5bn) to the UK.

More research required. Britain imports power some of the time and is not a net exporter although this might happen if the offshore wind factories perform as expected (hollow laughter).

James Brabben, Wholesale Manager at Cornwall Insight, said: “Great Britain becoming a net exporter of power would be a real reversal of roles compared to the past decade. Our modelling of Great Britain and EU markets shows how convergence in the generation mix of power markets across Europe will see more volatile flows over interconnectors. Great Britain’s comparative advantage for offshore wind resources supports a vast build-out of the technology and could see greater flows of power to Europe as a result.

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45 Responses to Threat of Energy War in Europe

  1. yarpos

    Going into winter the real outcome of what Macron threatens would be far worse than his imaginary financial hit. The UK would be far more exposed to the real consequences of its uptake of so called renewables.

  2. H B Bear

    Yep nothing like a bit of Frog nukes to help the windmills. Or some pumped hydro, eh?

  3. Siltstone

    UK should build high efficiency coal power stations fuelled by hight energy Australian coal and cook lots of their own fish (meanwhile telling the Gauls to suck eggs). Just goes to show self-sufficiency in reliable energy is critical. The Germans are about to find out soon as Russia will have the gas squirrel grip, big time.

  4. RobK

    Our modelling of Great Britain and EU markets shows how convergence in the generation mix of power markets across Europe will see more volatile flows over interconnectors.
    I’m lost for words.
    People get paid to put out this stuff.

  5. RobK

    No transmission equipment likes “volatile flows” .

  6. lotocoti

    Great Britain’s comparative advantage for offshore wind resources supports a vast build-out of the technology and could see greater flows of power to Europe as a result.

    Or maybe not.

  7. Lazlo

    Boris and his squeeze being hoist on their own green petard re a “genuine” Brexit.

  8. Terry

    Clearly, a hollow threat from the deluded French.

    Britain is in stage IV progressive transition (with little chance of remission) to wind and solar.

    What possible use could they have for French energy, so heavily weighed down by the expense and reliability of nuclear?

    What could possibly go wrong?

  9. Old Lefty

    Britain buys in power from France at two regular peaks, I understand: the period when people are putting on their electric kettles (which use a lot of power) before settling down in front of East Enders and Match of the Day.

    France is the power house of much of Europe because it is seriously nuclear, backed up by hydro power from the Rhone.

  10. RobK

    From the second linked article:

    “Increased interconnection would help facilitate this cheaper power moving to European markets. This could potentially limit the incidences of negative pricing and network constraint payments if the power can flow elsewhere.
    “As the generation mix of European countries converges towards cheaper renewables in the 2020s, it is logical to suggest that wholesale power pricing will do the same. Weather-related drivers are, therefore, likely to become a major factor in power prices and interconnector flows.”

    It’s as if the energy is transmitted at little or no cost. They are in for a surprise. GigaWatts equate to millions of horsepower. They are talking many tens of GigaWatts of volatile transmission to avoid curtailment of energy when nobody wants it. This sort of infrastructure will cost more than the energy itself.

  11. RobK

    There are two issues here I think. Fishing sovereignty and energy trade.
    It seems strange to conflate the two. That’s politics, I guess.

  12. Zyconoclast

    Macron should do it.

    The UK can use its excess power to drive down domestic power prices.
    Imagine the benefits to UK consumers and industry.

  13. Shane

    ”Britain imports power some of the time and is not a net exporter although this might happen if the offshore wind factories perform as expected (hollow laughter).”
    or they could just go down the Chinese /Indian path & use coal rather than using wood chips imported from the forests of N America.
    Have to wonder how many rent-seekers, first labeled as such by a certain Herr Marx are leasing out land for windmills here in OZ.
    I would expect that their postcodes here in Victoria at least, would tend to cluster around Portsea & Rye i.e the federal seat of Flinders, at least here in Vic as these people have long ago gone past being identified by simplistic political labels that those simpletons, naive Green, or another GAIA concerned activists adhere to when there is a taxpayer-funded subsidy at stake.
    And none of them can give you an anywhere near accurate figure for the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere & when they find out there is a momentary discombobulation & then normal programming is resumed.
    A case in point was the sabotage of Abbott’s when that carpetbagger, Al Gore flew in overnight into Canberra [& then straight out], apparently only for a meeting with that really fat, independent senator who then nobbled Abbot’s energy plan which wouldn’t have given us the world’s most expensive electricity within only 5 years.
    It’s funny how Greg Hunt, TA’s energy minister [strangely enough with that same postcode of the seat of Flinders] has gone from that Energy portfolio back then to the Health portfolio now, where the next taxpayer-subsidized boondoggle is now expected with this current Plandemic.
    Now that’s really brilliant timing & you may finally appreciate why the Victorian Liberal Party did its utmost to lose the last State election.

  14. Oh come on

    Macron won’t do it. If the UK is a net importer of power, and France is selling the UK a secure source of baseload power (as it is Germany), well…France isn’t doing it for the love.

    Macron’s threat is IF you stop letting our fishing fleets take fish from your territorial waters (an arrangement whereby we gain and you lose), then that power we sell you (an arrangement whereby we gain and don’t really what happens to you)…well…we’re not going to sell that to you anymore.

    I think it may be time to call the frog’s bluff.

  15. RobK

    Everyone can invest heavily into H2 storage. It will cost a packet but utilise cheap RE.
    The show must be run by school kids or something. (Apologies to school kids)

  16. RobK

    Cheap RE is only cheap in marginal costs, if it can be utilised. Generally we only deal with half the story.

  17. Ben

    From my reading, Macron was threatening to cut UK electricity exports – not imports.

    That would be an economic penalty aimed at Boris’ latest green announcement, not a direct punishment on citizens.

    Well played Macron.

  18. NoFixedAddress

    French – The language of Diplomats.

  19. egg_

    It’s funny how Greg Hunt, TA’s energy minister [strangely enough with that same postcode of the seat of Flinders] has gone from that Energy portfolio back then to the Health portfolio now, where the next taxpayer-subsidized boondoggle is now expected with this current Plandemic.

    Hunt’s a right Berkshire Hunt!

  20. flyingduk

    Just wait – this will be touted as a reason to build even *more* wind and solar!

  21. Shy Ted

    Please don’t give SloMo ideas.

  22. dasher

    I would be more impressed if the UK built a couple more nuclear power stations…that would blow the French out of the water…sorry awful pun.

  23. yarpos

    Nice view of UK power generation sources including inteconnectors

  24. hahaha I love it.
    Those lousy arrogant sons of bitches showing their true colours.
    “You must let us take your fish or we go to economic war”

    Bloody French. Haven’t provided anything decent to the World in a long time. Even their women are on the average side now.
    Boris should tell Macron to fvck off. The French never ever win any war. Not hot wars, not economic wars.

    Europeans have been lecturing the World on all sorts of things. Here they show who they really are. The Gerry’s are no different but without the garlic breath arrogance.
    I hope Trump goes after the Eurotrash hard in his next term.

  25. Roger

    I think Macron is referring to an embargo on UK energy expoports – i.e. oil and gas – into the EU (principally Germandy and the Netherlands), not on French exports to the UK.

  26. Rafe Champion

    The power goes both ways, as it does in South Australia that was a net importer up to maybe last year when they got to break even, now they might be a net exporter but they still import some of the time, probably every week on some occasions, depending on the wind.

  27. Rafe Champion

    Watching the wind locally, at 10am the wind scores 3.2% of power in the SE and 4% in WA.
    State by state, NSW 4%, Qld 3%, Victoria 0.5%, SA 9% and Tas 1%.
    The 4GW of installed capacity in SA and Vic is producing less than 200MW, that is a visible percentage in SA because their demand is so pathetic, barely more than Tasmania.

  28. Nob

    Baa Humbug
    #3625541, posted on October 20, 2020 at 9:18 am
    hahaha I love it.
    Those lousy arrogant sons of bitches showing their true colours.
    “You must let us take your fish or we go to economic war

    It’s negotiating tactics. Playing hardball.

    It’s a sign of how much they don’t want the UK to leave despite their default insouciance.

    It’s what stupid Cameron and May should have done four years ago instead of begging the EU commissars for a deal. You don’t ask a club you’re leaving to pretty please dictate how you can leave then spend years in limbo trying to discuss it.

    Johnson’s a dick but at least he understood that you have to be prepared to just pick up the ball and walk away, “deal” or no deal.

    Those of us in business , pro or anti , just want to get on with it. The delay is doing more harm than Brexit ever could.

  29. Roger

    French news is reporting Macron threatening to block UK energy exports into the EU, a potential loss of £2.3billion in revenue.

    I sugggest something has been lost in translation.

  30. Tel

    The French have done a good job of getting their nuclear power industry together, and because it produces lots of cheap power, reliably night and day, they have become the “spinning reserve” or Europe.

    There’s nothing stopping the UK from running a similar nuclear power industry, they have all the right bits and pieces, but last time they tried it they were a bit hopeless and everyone got the shits with them. It would do them good to stand on their own two feet for a change. Knocking up a bunch of gas turbines around the place would tide them over if nuclear is too complicated and confusing for them.

  31. Snoopy

    Energy self-sufficiency is a security issue. Confirmed.

  32. Tel

    Macron should do it.

    The UK can use its excess power to drive down domestic power prices.
    Imagine the benefits to UK consumers and industry.

    Zyco, the problem for the UK is that their power generation tends to be unreliable, while the French power is very stable and very reliable. If you have a reliable power source, you don’t need to care about who is connected or disconnected … but if your major power source is unreliable then suddenly you become dependent on access to a very large grid connection in order to stabilize things.

  33. Tel

    Energy self-sufficiency is a security issue. Confirmed.

    Yup. If there ever was a serious conflict anywhere around Europe you can be sure those cables would get cut very early.

  34. Snoopy

    Australia has stacks of thermal coal, uranium and oil shale. Energy self-sufficiency should be a priority.

  35. Stanley

    Think of the pilchards! What have the French ever done for us?

  36. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Britain becoming a net exporter of power would be a real reversal of roles compared to the past decade

    So the frogs are basically saying “we want to harvest Britain’s fish and if they don’t let us, we’ll block some future hypothetical British exports of unreliable power into the EU”.

    Watch that fat mop headed greenfilth imbecile cave.

  37. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Australia has stacks of thermal coal, uranium and oil shale.

    Yet we’re also blessed with just about the highest energy costs in the western world.

    Our beloved politicians should be executed en masse.

  38. H B Bear

    The French have done a good job of getting their nuclear power industry together, and because it produces lots of cheap power, reliably night and day, they have become the “spinning reserve” or Europe.

    Like Queensland I expect there was massive over-investment in State owned assets. Now you cannot build anything but windmills it looks like genius.

  39. NuThink

    Tel
    #3625604, posted on October 20, 2020 at 10:21 am
    Energy self-sufficiency is a security issue. Confirmed.

    Yup. If there ever was a serious conflict anywhere around Europe you can be sure those cables would get cut very early.

    My feelings too about the offshore wind turbines. It would be difficult to protect the turbines and their cables from underwater attack (IMHO).

  40. NuThink

    I like to watch the train doccos on TV. In a few Michael Portillo has gone to fishing villages in the UK which have been totally hollowed out by competition from the EU trawlers, leaving no jobs for the English.

  41. Fair Shake

    I like to watch the train doccos on TV. In a few Michael Portillo has gone to fishing villages in the UK which have been totally hollowed out by competition from the EU trawlers, leaving no jobs for the English.
    I too have watched these shows (omg what has become of me in Melbourne lockdown!) and Portillo then goes on to glowing point out some brand new concert hall, exhibition centre or wind chime provided by the EU. Portillo is a woke weathervane.

  42. MACK

    At President Macaroon seems to be doing something right:
    France’s Macron vows to fight ‘Islamist separatism’
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54383173

  43. gavin

    north sea oil and gas reserves?

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