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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Octopus have announced they are investing in Xlinks...
Expecting to get it built by 2027 and they are asking for £48/MWh. It's 3.6GW output with 20GWh battery back up, and they'll have to set up in business to make the cables themselves (since no supplier has capacity).

When first announced I thought these guys were away with the fairies, but the numbers are extraordinary. If I got this right, steady output 3.6GW and 20 hours a day. 3800km cable. It's cheaper to build than nuclear by around £10b. The electricity is less than half the cost per MWh, (£48 v £110) and they think it'll be operational by 2027, that's only 5 years away.

So will this like most other infrastructure projects double in cost and be a decade late, or just never happen after swallowing money for a few years?
OR...With EDF confirming last week that they are now looking again at the costs of HPC, and that they likely have to further delay completion... is there now a possibility of the extraordinary XLinks project being operational before HPCs?


 

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So Octopus have announced they are investing in Xlinks...
Expecting to get it built by 2027 and they are asking for £48/MWh. It's 3.6GW output with 20GWh battery back up, and they'll have to set up in business to make the cables themselves (since no supplier has capacity).

When first announced I thought these guys were away with the fairies, but the numbers are extraordinary. If I got this right, steady output 3.6GW and 20 hours a day. 3800km cable. It's cheaper to build than nuclear by around £10b. The electricity is less than half the cost per MWh, (£48 v £110) and they think it'll be operational by 2027, that's only 5 years away.

So will this like most other infrastructure projects double in cost and be a decade late, or just never happen after swallowing money for a few years?
OR...With EDF confirming last week that they are now looking again at the costs of HPC, and that they likely have to further delay completion... is there now a possibility of the extraordinary XLinks project being operational before HPCs?


As you say, it is truly extraordinary on every technical level.

Now we need to tackle political and security issues worldwide for this to work.

Russian sobotage comes to mind.

Russian financing of Morrocan corruption, what could possibly go wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
As you say, it is truly extraordinary on every technical level.

Now we need to tackle political and security issues worldwide for this to work.

Russian sobotage comes to mind.

Russian financing of Morrocan corruption, what could possibly go wrong!
Russians have been quite successful at funding within the UK.
I think when it comes to politics and corruption the UK has little room to be able to look down on others based on our recent record.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
As you say, it is truly extraordinary on every technical level.

Now we need to tackle political and security issues worldwide for this to work.

Russian sobotage comes to mind.

Russian financing of Morrocan corruption, what could possibly go wrong!
Sabotage must be a risk, but I'm not sure it's a great deal more vulnerable than other international infrastructure?
 

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If this work helps bring down the cost of future interconnector projects, that'd be great - the next logical ones would be to augment capacity to Norway, and to consider building out to Iceland; they've got huge amounts of geothermal energy available too.

The more interconnected our grid is, the more renewables that can be deployed. We should be aiming for more wind than we know what to do with; power demand from EVs and heat pumps is only going to increase. If we've got a surplus of wind power despite those loads then we should be able to export that power, or import as needed. Between renewables and storage technologies (be it car or house batteries, or hydro power in Norway), we could very well take big bites out of the fossil fuel use.

I wonder what the power demand curves will look like in 15-20 years; presumably then we'll have lots more EVs on the road, many more 7kW chargers, lots of capacity for charging at MSAs, and heat pumps on the outside of many more properties. It's quite exciting!
 

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Utter tosh, prices will never go down again, we will be made to be dependant on nuclear supply, they aren't even owned by UK companies, there are much better options available and we should be investing more into wind, tidal etc

BBC News - UK’s nuclear power push may add to energy bills, minister says
 

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Kia soul maxx Jan 22
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If this work helps bring down the cost of future interconnector projects, that'd be great - the next logical ones would be to augment capacity to Norway, and to consider building out to Iceland; they've got huge amounts of geothermal energy available too.

The more interconnected our grid is, the more renewables that can be deployed. We should be aiming for more wind than we know what to do with; power demand from EVs and heat pumps is only going to increase. If we've got a surplus of wind power despite those loads then we should be able to export that power, or import as needed. Between renewables and storage technologies (be it car or house batteries, or hydro power in Norway), we could very well take big bites out of the fossil fuel use.

I wonder what the power demand curves will look like in 15-20 years; presumably then we'll have lots more EVs on the road, many more 7kW chargers, lots of capacity for charging at MSAs, and heat pumps on the outside of many more properties. It's quite exciting!
I agree , all we need now is a forward thinking laser focused government ( anyone know where we can get /buy one ?)
 

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Kia soul maxx Jan 22
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I hear Russia may have a few top level bods coming free over the next few weeks? The NHS should still be able to help as they recover from their heart attacks :)
They could even bring detailed knowledge of the weak points of their gas/oil pipelines .
Now if only we could persuade the Chinese to tell us about the vulnerabilities of the shiny new nuclear reactors they'll be placing on our septic isle
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thinking about the energy independence aspect...
I think the current push for energy independence is being somewhat overdone. Sure we need diversity, sure we need to be able to change tack when the world changes, but some seem to be tipping over into a kind of energy isolationism.

I think the lesson should not be in how Russia' bad behaviour impacts others, (there will always dicks in the world). I'd say the lesson is more in how the rest of our international friends and neighbours have cooperated and supported Ukraine and each other. And then also how we've used the trade with Russia to sanction them. If you have countries who behave like dicks, you need more international friends and connections not less, both in order to adapt and have a chance to influence.
 

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Kia soul maxx Jan 22
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Thinking about the energy independence aspect...
I think the current push for energy independence is being somewhat overdone. Sure we need diversity, sure we need to be able to change tack when the world changes, but some seem to be tipping over into a kind of energy isolationism.

I think the lesson should not be in how Russia' bad behaviour impacts others, (there will always dicks in the world). I'd say the lesson is more in how the rest of our international friends and neighbours have cooperated and supported Ukraine and each other. And then also how we've used the trade with Russia to sanction them. If you have countries who behave like dicks, you need more international friends and connections not less, both in order to adapt and have a chance to influence.
If only there was some kind of club we could join ,a group of like-minded sovereign nations , maybe close at hand ? Nope I've got nothing 🤪
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If only there was some kind of club we could join ,a group of like-minded sovereign nations , maybe close at hand ? Nope I've got nothing 🤪
Well let's not do the B word, but it's interesting how Sweden and Finland respond by joining NATO.
So yes let's build interconnectors to Morocco, and Spain, and Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, etc Then we will benefit from more interconnection and more shared resources, but without being dependent on any one source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I like the idea of this.

However if it’s such a good idea, why haven’t they done it in the Spanish deserts, of which there are considerable areas with over 300 days of sunshine?
Well I guess in Spain you can put it on the rooves of buildings and it works just as well. The issues this solves is that first it's only effective for part of the year in the UK, and then maybe second that Spain doesn't really need solar from Morocco all that much.
 

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Well I guess in Spain you can put it on the rooves of buildings and it works just as well. The issues this solves is that first it's only effective for part of the year in the UK, and then maybe second that Spain doesn't really need solar from Morocco all that much.
2 things jump to mind:

1. Land will presumably be cheaper in Morocco
2. The project also leans heavily on the steady winds Morocco gets from the Atlantic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
2 things jump to mind:

1. Land will presumably be cheaper in Morocco
2. The project also leans heavily on the steady winds Morocco gets from the Atlantic.
I am slightly concerned about the energy imperialism of the project... do the residents of Morocco get a stable supply of renewable electricity out of the deal? I doubt there's much in it for the locals.
 

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Kia soul maxx Jan 22
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I am slightly concerned about the energy imperialism of the project... do the residents of Morocco get a stable supply of renewable electricity out of the deal? I doubt there's much in it for the locals.
An earlier article did mention 10000 jobs 2000 of which were permanent
 

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I am slightly concerned about the energy imperialism of the project... do the residents of Morocco get a stable supply of renewable electricity out of the deal? I doubt there's much in it for the locals.
Could only find some bland corporatese on the website:

The local communities in which we operate
Xlinks aims to be an integral player in, and to fully contribute to, the social and economic development in the communities in which we operate.

The technologies and the locations we will use have been chosen to avoid any harm to the environment and the livelihoods of the local communities, but we are also endeavouring to provide positive impact.

Be it in Morocco’s southern villages, the Devon countryside or the coastal communities of Spain, Portugal, and France, we are consulting with the local authorities and communities to maximise the benefits of the Xlinks project and minimise any negative environmental impact.
also this:
Corruption in Morocco - Wikipedia
The occurrence of petty and grand corruption in public and private sectors in Morocco are one of the socio-political challenges the country is facing. A leaked report by a US diplomat stated that corruption had become much more institutionalized under King Mohammed VI, and that the royal family had been using public institutions to coerce and solicit bribes.[1]

Corruption is also identified by businesses as a large obstacle for investment in Morocco. Public procurement is an area with a high level of corruption, and government contracts are often awarded to well-connected companies. Corruption committed by highly influential persons are rarely prosecuted.[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Morocco#cite_note-2

so maybe good reason for concern?
 
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