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MG ZS EV
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Wind energy is brilliant, relatively simple to get built and get the power, but the wind doesn't blow all the time and so spreading you area to be 'farmed' makes common sense. Morocco has this area of wasteland (I don't mean to insult the Moroccans) which is huge and barely used. It makes sense to utilise it. And why is the power coming to Britain and not Spain or France? Spain already has a massive wind power infrastructure in the middle of the country which even years ago provided 50% of their power at times, they clearly have plenty of sun too, but it is in phase with Morocco. France could benefit but suspect truculence and history and their supposed ready supply of nuclear power puts them in second place.

Underwater power cables have been around for years, I lived nearby the connection to the Isle of Man in Blackpool years ago. The cables do fail and providing the right kit is available can be fixed in a matter of days. The right kit being a boat or boats to lift the cable for re-jointing. There is technology that pinpoints the location of the fault so it isn't like looking for a needle in a haystack or its maritime equivalent. Recently a connector near Denmark was out of action for 2-3 weeks but got fixed with little drama.

And Octopus Energy is owned by a finance company, it is not merely an energy business. I haven't delved too much in the history but I suspect Greg and his IT mates pitched a business to them and they funded it, rather like Dragon's Den. Octopus have lots of other pies hence the name Octopus I guess. And if you have a spare £25k minimum you too can get into some of their action from time to time.

We should celebrate this project, it will add to the UKs growth in industry or at least give advantage to not just households but the steel industry, H2 production etc. As many have commented the speed with which this can come on stream could be eye wateringly fast. Spain and France may have to give permission for a route across their sea bed but with France acting as banker for most of the European electricity network (by that I mean all interconnectors used to point to France who co-ordinated stability and price, the Nordic countries also have that role today.) they will happily pass on any spare via our current links (pun intended).
 

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Instead of the Chinese and the French.
edited. We need energy production within our own shores funded by UK for energy security, Nuclear is a good option along with wind and solar and wave,at least until the Americans let on about the tech they have in Area 51, S4 that would solve all our problems for clean energy.
 

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Just based on personal opinion, so feel free to shoot t down.

Dog and Tail comes to mind on this project. Nothing to do with technicalities. Everything to do with politics and project risk financing. (Lets spell it out, 10GW from one external supplier/project/cable group, is way too large a proportion of the the UKs demand)

The way to make it NOT a Dog and Tail scenario is to syndicate the risk and reward (with Germans, French etc). UK gets diversity of supply. Everyone becomes a winner.
 

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There's a couple of counters to that:

1. The OP stated:
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...
So it's only 3.6 GW, not 10 GW. Not sure if someone else mentioned 10GW in the course of the discussion?

2. Even if it was 10GW, it's only part of the UK supply - and the nameplate supply will be hugely expanded beyond the current, what, 50-60GW maybe doubling by the time the project is built? So I don't think it's as big a part of the mix as it might seem?

Still, if the idea post-Ukraine is to be more energy independent then importing a good whack of that energy from a politically less stable region where we have less influence than in earlier years might be simply remaking the errors of German energy policy in the run-up to Ukraine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
There's a couple of counters to that:

1. The OP stated:


So it's only 3.6 GW, not 10 GW. Not sure if someone else mentioned 10GW in the course of the discussion?

2. Even if it was 10GW, it's only part of the UK supply - and the nameplate supply will be hugely expanded beyond the current, what, 50-60GW maybe doubling by the time the project is built? So I don't think it's as big a part of the mix as it might seem?

Still, if the idea post-Ukraine is to be more energy independent then importing a good whack of that energy from a politically less stable region where we have less influence than in earlier years might be simply remaking the errors of German energy policy in the run-up to Ukraine.
Yes as far as I can tell the link capacity would be the 3.6, the 10 is the nameplate capacity of the wind and solar.
So it's similar in scale to say HPC in terms of proportion of supply from a single source.
I think it's borderline for the size you'd want to accept for a single supplier/ or single facility, but then if I say that, it's also the case to some extent that so are the existing alternative thermal plants and large generators.
 

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If the UK is the Saudi Arabia of wind power 3.6 GW is going to be a drop in the ocean. Imperial College state that UK will need 108GW of offshore wind by 2035, 3.6 is fairly trivial in that no.
 

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If the UK is the Saudi Arabia of wind power 3.6 GW is going to be a drop in the ocean. Imperial College state that UK will need 108GW of offshore wind by 2035, 3.6 is fairly trivial in that no.
Presumably a large part of that capacity is so we still have supply when high pressure is keeping the wind at bay. Having generation in a part of the world that has reliable wind due to the proximity of the desert which gets hot so air rises and wind therefore comes off the sea to fill the void.

I get why you would go off-shore all the way, can you imagine the planning to put up huge amounts of overhead lines to carry the power. Over that distance presumably the only way you can get the losses down is to use DC rather than AC transmission. Meaning that it couldn't just go through the existing grid.

It's been mentioned that all of the Solar panels will reduce the temperature of the ground beneath them and might mean that the land will become an area which could support vegetation and therefore food production.

As a side benefit we gain the knowledge of being the first nation that has built this kind of system. We get a plant that's capable of making HV DC cables which are currently in high demand. Morocco gains jobs and knowledgeable contractors and presumably a fair price for the land and the ability to raise a bit of revenue. If it's seen to be a big success they might end up building more systems and selling their reliable green electricity to other parts of Europe and Africa.
 

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So it's only 3.6 GW, not 10 GW. Not sure if someone else mentioned 10GW in the course of the discussion?
- and I seem to recall that it will need two cable runs, so half that total to begin with.

Just for reference, the IFA1 interconnector with France is in fact two separate 1GW cable pairs, one of which remains out of action until they have fixed the fire damage at Sellindge. The link with Norway is still not up to full capacity (I seem to recall there was a problem with the inverters at the UK end).
 

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If the UK is the Saudi Arabia of wind power 3.6 GW is going to be a drop in the ocean. Imperial College state that UK will need 108GW of offshore wind by 2035, 3.6 is fairly trivial in that no.
In your enthusiasm for this project, you are comparing apples and oranges.
A 10GW generation project, which UK electricity users will pay for every day with their standing charges and consumption tariffs, is to be compared with the 108GW you quote, or 10%..

Note the 10GW generation capacity versus export capacity of 3.6GW seems to be a high ratio considering that one of the touted benefits of the project is high "capacity factors" due to geographical location and local climatic factors.

Does anyone have a list of investors in the various parts of this project (cable manufacturing, the installed cable and converters, Moroccan generation, Moroccan battery banks, Moroccan land security (lease or ownership).

Is there a memorandum of understanding signed between UK and Morrocan Governments .

Presumably there will need to be cooperation with France and Spain if the cables are to be routed through their EEZ.

b. Conditions to lay submarine cables in the exclusive economic zone When exercising the right to lay submarine cables in the exclusive economic zone states should respect laws and regulations of the coastal state: “In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, States shall have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal State and shall comply with the laws and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part”36 . The obligation of states to have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal state is not defined by the UNCLOS. However, it might be expounded as a respect and consideration of coastal states interests while exercising their own rights or freedoms. It should be interpreted as a balanced approach to exercise rights without causing harm to interests of other actors. In international law there is a practice of defining “due regard” concept in relation to specific circumstances37. However, each case is unique and the applicability of concept of due regard should be evaluated individually based on particular circumstances of the situation and appropriateness of relevant factors38. To date there were no decisions of international tribunals concerning the applicability of due regard principle to submarine cables based on practical experience. 36 UNCLOS, Article 58 (3). 37 See, for instance, Nuclear Tests Case (Australia & New Zealand v. France, ICJ Reports, 1974, pp. 253-457, where France claimed that for conducting its nuclear tests it excluded the fishing areas and busy sea routes, and took safety warning measures, so as to prevent damages to the vessels of other states. The ICJ finally did not rule on this matter since France announced that it had dropped the plans for conducing further nuclear tests. In the case Fisheries Jurisdiction (United Kingdom v. Iceland), ICJ Reports, 1974, pp. 8-175, the claim of Iceland to unilaterally prohibit British vessels from conducting fishing activities beyond the limit of 12 nautical miles although they have been traditionally fishing there was not recognized as giving a due regard by Iceland to the rights of Great Britain. 38 R. Churchill, A. Lowe, The Law of the Sea, op.cit., pp. 206-207. 134 The concept of due regard appears in the UNCLOS several times. In total there are nineteenth mentions in the convention39and some of them apply to submarine cables. For instance, due regard to the interests of other states in the high seas where submarine cables are laid. However, it appears impossible to formulate the content of due regard in relation to submarine cables in advance, without having a concrete case in place. Some general criteria might include the quantity of interests concerned (whether it is the first cable connecting the territory or not); time spent on preparing maritime activities; prior notification of the planned activities; dissemination of information among interested states; and the amount of subjects involved in the development of the project. At the same time, a coastal state should respect rights of all other states intended to exercise certain activity in the exclusive economic zone, including laying of submarine cables. The UNCLOS always aims to keep a balance between the rights of a coastal state and rights of all other members of the convention exercising certain freedoms in the exclusive economic zone. In particular, the UNCLOS provides that rules and regulations adopted by coastal states should be in compliance with the UNCLOS and other rules of international law to the extent as they are not incompatible with Part V “Exclusive Economic Zone”40 . Such rules and regulations established by coastal states may relate, for instance, to exploration and exploitation of natural resources or production of energy from the water, currents, and winds. Coastal states may also exercise jurisdiction with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures; marine scientific research; and protection and preservation of the marine environment41. Therefore, when submarine cable project is initiated, relevant laws concerning not only submarine cables directly but also adjacent areas mentioned above are considered. For instance, cable projects can be implemented jointly with construction of offshore installations 39 Z. Guobin, “A Discussion on Due Regard in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”, China Oceans Law Review, vol. 2014, No. 2, 2014, pp. 70-9
 

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In your enthusiasm for this project, you are comparing apples and oranges.
A 10GW generation project, which UK electricity users will pay for every day with their standing charges and consumption tariffs, is to be compared with the 108GW you quote, or 10%..

Note the 10GW generation capacity versus export capacity of 3.6GW seems to be a high ratio considering that one of the touted benefits of the project is high "capacity factors" due to geographical location and local climatic factors.

Does anyone have a list of investors in the various parts of this project (cable manufacturing, the installed cable and converters, Moroccan generation, Moroccan battery banks, Moroccan land security (lease or ownership).

Is there a memorandum of understanding signed between UK and Morrocan Governments .

Presumably there will need to be cooperation with France and Spain if the cables are to be routed through their EEZ.

b. Conditions to lay submarine cables in the exclusive economic zone When exercising the right to lay submarine cables in the exclusive economic zone states should respect laws and regulations of the coastal state: “In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, States shall have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal State and shall comply with the laws and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part”36 . The obligation of states to have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal state is not defined by the UNCLOS. However, it might be expounded as a respect and consideration of coastal states interests while exercising their own rights or freedoms. It should be interpreted as a balanced approach to exercise rights without causing harm to interests of other actors. In international law there is a practice of defining “due regard” concept in relation to specific circumstances37. However, each case is unique and the applicability of concept of due regard should be evaluated individually based on particular circumstances of the situation and appropriateness of relevant factors38. To date there were no decisions of international tribunals concerning the applicability of due regard principle to submarine cables based on practical experience. 36 UNCLOS, Article 58 (3). 37 See, for instance, Nuclear Tests Case (Australia & New Zealand v. France, ICJ Reports, 1974, pp. 253-457, where France claimed that for conducting its nuclear tests it excluded the fishing areas and busy sea routes, and took safety warning measures, so as to prevent damages to the vessels of other states. The ICJ finally did not rule on this matter since France announced that it had dropped the plans for conducing further nuclear tests. In the case Fisheries Jurisdiction (United Kingdom v. Iceland), ICJ Reports, 1974, pp. 8-175, the claim of Iceland to unilaterally prohibit British vessels from conducting fishing activities beyond the limit of 12 nautical miles although they have been traditionally fishing there was not recognized as giving a due regard by Iceland to the rights of Great Britain. 38 R. Churchill, A. Lowe, The Law of the Sea, op.cit., pp. 206-207. 134 The concept of due regard appears in the UNCLOS several times. In total there are nineteenth mentions in the convention39and some of them apply to submarine cables. For instance, due regard to the interests of other states in the high seas where submarine cables are laid. However, it appears impossible to formulate the content of due regard in relation to submarine cables in advance, without having a concrete case in place. Some general criteria might include the quantity of interests concerned (whether it is the first cable connecting the territory or not); time spent on preparing maritime activities; prior notification of the planned activities; dissemination of information among interested states; and the amount of subjects involved in the development of the project. At the same time, a coastal state should respect rights of all other states intended to exercise certain activity in the exclusive economic zone, including laying of submarine cables. The UNCLOS always aims to keep a balance between the rights of a coastal state and rights of all other members of the convention exercising certain freedoms in the exclusive economic zone. In particular, the UNCLOS provides that rules and regulations adopted by coastal states should be in compliance with the UNCLOS and other rules of international law to the extent as they are not incompatible with Part V “Exclusive Economic Zone”40 . Such rules and regulations established by coastal states may relate, for instance, to exploration and exploitation of natural resources or production of energy from the water, currents, and winds. Coastal states may also exercise jurisdiction with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures; marine scientific research; and protection and preservation of the marine environment41. Therefore, when submarine cable project is initiated, relevant laws concerning not only submarine cables directly but also adjacent areas mentioned above are considered. For instance, cable projects can be implemented jointly with construction of offshore installations 39 Z. Guobin, “A Discussion on Due Regard in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”, China Oceans Law Review, vol. 2014, No. 2, 2014, pp. 70-9
So if the cables run out into the Atlantic to bypass the territorial waters the chance of disapproval is low? And France and Spain will benefit from oversupply to GB with 5 GW of interconnections. The new one 1 GW using the Channel Tunnel is about to come on stream. Germany's NeuConnect passes through The Netherlands and Belgian waters I believe and that has just got approval and will be ready in 2028. I can't believe that there aren't already cables running past France and Spain; there has been teleprinter connections to Cairo via Gibralter since, well ages, certainly before the last war. My father was at the Cairo end in 1942.

It seems to me that the energy industry has pretty much ignored Brexit, having just got on with the job of building out the renewables as best they can. That makes perfect sense financially for everyone. I cam across a website with all the power transfers in the last 12 months and the CO2 savings estimated by our current interconnectors was colossal. Not to say that some of the figures might have been a bit exaggerated but they came from National Grid ESO I think, swapping the power just makes sense. France is the heart of the North European electricity system having had surplus nuclear power for decades to swap with Italy, Spain, Benelux countries and Germany. Our links add to the current system to the benefit of them. I haven't looked into the power links further east but there are swathes of land that would benefit from solar and wind, maybe even in Ukraine which is a huge country.
 

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So if the cables run out into the Atlantic to bypass the territorial waters the chance of disapproval is low? And France and Spain will benefit from oversupply to GB with 5 GW of interconnections. The new one 1 GW using the Channel Tunnel is about to come on stream. Germany's NeuConnect passes through The Netherlands and Belgian waters I believe and that has just got approval and will be ready in 2028. I can't believe that there aren't already cables running past France and Spain; there has been teleprinter connections to Cairo via Gibralter since, well ages, certainly before the last war. My father was at the Cairo end in 1942.

It seems to me that the energy industry has pretty much ignored Brexit, having just got on with the job of building out the renewables as best they can. That makes perfect sense financially for everyone. I cam across a website with all the power transfers in the last 12 months and the CO2 savings estimated by our current interconnectors was colossal. Not to say that some of the figures might have been a bit exaggerated but they came from National Grid ESO I think, swapping the power just makes sense. France is the heart of the North European electricity system having had surplus nuclear power for decades to swap with Italy, Spain, Benelux countries and Germany. Our links add to the current system to the benefit of them. I haven't looked into the power links further east but there are swathes of land that would benefit from solar and wind, maybe even in Ukraine which is a huge country.
When one digs into the Moroccan end, it's a big bag of corruption. So once again, we would be dealing with a dictator. The financing would take that severely into account.

Remember this is not a project, there are no participants. It's a bunch of promotors cooking up some value ( for themselves).
 

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When one digs into the Moroccan end, it's a big bag of corruption. So once again, we would be dealing with a dictator. The financing would take that severely into account.

Remember this is not a project, there are no participants. It's a bunch of promotors cooking up some value ( for themselves).
Well, presumably from the Moroccan end the Xlinks team are merely buying some land on the cheap. They're then investing in the kit, so the money paid will be returning on their investment, less an amount for the local staff to run / maintain things.

I'm for this; it seems a very good idea.
 

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Well, presumably from the Moroccan end the Xlinks team are merely buying some land on the cheap. They're then investing in the kit, so the money paid will be returning on their investment, less an amount for the local staff to run / maintain things.

I'm for this; it seems a very good idea.
The.occupation and the rule of law over the land is disputed. There's a water crisis. This project is going nowhere.
 

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How soon will we see what you predict coming to pass?
The title of the thread says it will be cheaper and quicker than Hinckly C completion. Given the nature of the political, financing risks, do you blindly believe that. Do the backers actually have a clue as to what is involved in designing and manufacturing HVDC cable at the scale required, building a plant from scratch. Sourcing some very particular materials. Will it be thermoplastic insulation? What voltage?
 

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The title of the thread says it will be cheaper and quicker than Hinckly C completion. Given the nature of the political, financing risks, do you blindly believe that. Do the backers actually have a clue as to what is involved in designing and manufacturing HVDC cable at the scale required, building a plant from scratch. Sourcing some very particular materials. Will it be thermoplastic insulation? What voltage?
Mnn. You're changing your tune a few times; at first you said it was going nowhere and now it's not going to be cheaper and quicker than Hinckley C. Precisely what do you predict, sorry? You lost me.

Undoubtedly there are challenges, and undoubtedly there's the risk that it might be delayed. But that's a risk to the investors of the project. For the grid, once it is online, they'll get 1.8GW per cable, from a renewable source, but with a reliable capacity factor. It'll certainly go a long way to displace more fossil fuels or biomass - and hopefully therefore reduce the wholesale rate in the process. It's for that reason I think it's a project to celebrate. It's ambitious but hopefully they can carry it off!
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
The title of the thread says it will be cheaper and quicker than Hinckly C completion.
The title is intended to question whether that's a conceivable outcome. Not really suggesting it's likely just not impossible.
Obviously you think it highly unlikely. Honestly I don't think it particularly likely either especially since EDF haven't actually announced a further delay to HPC (just said they are looking at schedule and cost, but the existing schedule for HPC is to finish in '26). It's an intriguing possibility though.

I love the ambition of the XLinks project, I think schedule delays are reasonably likely, and there's got to be risk of it never happening but the thing has more credibility than I originally perceived when I read about it first time around.

FYI Looks like at least four cables, and they only expect the first one in '27. They do say the others would take another couple of years to complete.
So the project really looks like <1GW by mid '27. Still ambitious but that's somewhat more credible. Then additional cables generaration and storage added in following years.
 

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The title is intended to question whether that's a conceivable outcome. Not really suggesting it's likely just not impossible.
Obviously you think it highly unlikely. Honestly I don't think it particularly likely either especially since EDF haven't actually announced a further delay to HPC (just said they are looking at schedule and cost, but the existing schedule for HPC is to finish in '26). It's an intriguing possibility though.

I love the ambition of the XLinks project, I think schedule delays are reasonably likely, and there's got to be risk of it never happening but the thing has more credibility than I originally perceived when I read about it first time around.

FYI Looks like at least four cables, and they only expect the first one in '27. They do say the others would take another couple of years to complete.
So the project really looks like <1GW by mid '27. Still ambitious but that's somewhat more credible. Then additional cables generaration and storage added in following years.
The key way to look at this is it's not a project at all. It's a concept a best.
 
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