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| 1 minute read

Plans for UK-Morocco power link to provide renewable electricity to UK

The rise of electric vehicle use in the UK over the last few years has been steep (albeit from a low base) with growth of over 50% last year, so that around 3% of cars in the UK are now plug-in (plug-in hybrid or purely electric). In recent weeks we have seen another “nudge” from regulators towards electrification with the controversial expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). To avoid a penalty charge for driving within the zone, there are various options for “low-polluting” vehicles that are exempt, one of which is, of course, to use an electric vehicle. Looking ahead, according to bp’s Energy Outlook 2023 report about 50% of light vehicles, which includes cars, will be electric by the mid-2030s under their “Accelerated” decarbonisation scenario.

All of this begs the question: how are we going to supply enough electricity for them, while still reducing our carbon emissions?

I was fascinated to read, then, about the Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project which is a renewable wind and solar energy facility planned to be built in Morocco but linked exclusively to the UK by undersea cables. The electricity will be transmitted through four 3,800km undersea cables (bypassing other countries en route so as to allay concerns about supply security). It is claimed that there will eventually be enough electricity from the project to supply 8% of the UK’s electricity needs. I can see this as the start of an increasing trend for countries to source electricity not just from neighbours, but from countries further afield with more favourable conditions for generating renewable energy.

2030 is mentioned as a possible start date for the facility to come online, and I will be following its progress with interest.

This “first of a kind” project will generate 10.5GW of zero carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day. This is enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over 7 million British homes by 2030.


energy & environment, mechanical engineering, climate change, transport