Press release

UK and Norway: Building links to deliver energy security and prosperity

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The joint statement was issued by the British and Norwegian Prime Ministers on the North Sea Network (NSN) electricity interconnector.

The UK and Norway have worked in partnership for many decades to create a strong North Sea oil and gas sector, which continues to provide many thousands of jobs and shared infrastructure that delivers safe and secure energy supplies.

We now warmly welcome a new link: the North Sea Network (NSN) electricity interconnector, which moves ahead with the final investment decision announced by the National Grid and Statnett:

  • the infrastructure is first-class technology leadership; when completed, NSN will be the world’s longest subsea interconnector with the capacity to transmit 1.4 GW of electricity
  • by linking our electricity markets, the project is a forward-looking endeavour that will maximise the potential economic benefits of our national energy systems
  • NSN strengthens mutual security of supply, enhancing energy security in both countries by linking our power markets, and reinforcing capacity in times of system stress

The North Sea has long provided our countries with abundant resources that have underpinned economic growth. Recent developments such as the UK’s new Oil and Gas Authority and the Johan Sverdrup field, Norway’s biggest industrial project, will help maximise the potential of both the UK and Norwegian Continental Shelves for future generations.

Natural gas imports from Norway will continue to be a fundamental part of the UK’s energy mix, and as a reliable supplier, Norway will continue to facilitate exports to maintain supplies to the UK and other European markets.

The deployment of marine renewable energy resources is at the forefront of our innovation and climate change agenda. With the UK as the leading hub for offshore wind, both Norwegian and British companies are working together to expand this industry. We look forward to onshore construction works beginning at Dudgeon wind farm this year, and welcome Statkraft and RWE’s new partnership to develop Triton Knoll later this decade.

On carbon capture and storage (CCS), Norway and the UK are leading the way in Europe, with Norway the only country with operational full scale CCS projects. The UK’s projects in development under the £1 billion Commercialisation Programme could result in world firsts for commercial scale CCS projects on a gas fired power station at Peterhead, and using oxy-combustion technology at White Rose.

By connecting our 2 countries, the decision announced by National Grid and Statnett today marks a strengthening of our energy partnership.