Europe is on the right path but implementation must speed up, if we are to achieve the set goals. More renewable energy and an efficiently interconnected power grid are needed to ensure sufficient and reliable transmission of generated green energy. If successful, this transition will not only help stabilise the climate by decarbonizing the global economy, it will also keep the +1.5 ºC delta temperature trajectory on track. However, at NKT we are deeply concerned that the current pace of rolling out green energy generation and transmission on a global scale will prove insufficient to achieve this incremental temperature target.
There are many agendas at COP27. As a power cable manufacturer, NKT is mainly committed to discussions around the future of energy and how sustainability must be designed into tomorrow’s transmission solutions, decarbonization in general and climate financing.
Climate financing and tendering processes need an upgrade
Speed and efficiency are key to upgrading the energy infrastructure to sufficiently support the energy transition. With power cable projects often taking several years before they are initialized, the industry needs swifter and more agile processes in the permit and tendering phase to ensure efficient development of the energy infrastructure. There needs to be more collaboration between the key stakeholders of these major projects going across public and private entities – with the common aim to facilitate more GW of green energy to be put on the market as soon as possible.
If NKT and the rest of the industry are to support the politically planned capacity increases, significant investments in factories and expansion of capacity is needed. Firm commitments with longer horizons are required before capacity expansions are financially viable to initiate. In this context, balanced frame agreements may help speed up the process from first planning of power cable projects to first power generated.
Faster tender processes is another avenue to improve implementation speed , but will it be fast enough to achieve the ambitious goals governments are committing to? Favourable financing regimes is another pivotal element to support NKT considering the heavy investments needed now, so that capacity is ready to meet expected demand in the years to come.
Together, we can decarbonize the world economy
NKT’s power cable solutions provide the infrastructure necessary to transport renewable energy to users across countries and regions. Introducing more interconnectors and generally strengthening the power grid will make it easier to transfer renewable energy to users across continents, whether they are close or far away from the actual production, and thereby decarbonize their footprint. And here it becomes critically important to also consider how the components and elements of the cable systems are manufactured, delivered, implemented and operated. As a minimum, design for sustainability must be regarded as a decisive selection criterium. For that to happen we need the political establishment to demand that from all the respective stakeholders in the green transition value chain.
Internally, NKT is proud of the results achieved so far and the road ahead of an ambitious sustainability journey. NKT has committed to the Science Based Target initiative and the 1.5 degree scenario with the aim to be Net Zero no later than 2050. Active work is ongoing to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 90% by 2030 and to reduce Scope 3 emissions through close collaboration with suppliers. With the recent example of the use of low carbon copper for HVDC cables for the Dogger Bank C wind farm, NKT – together with SSE Renewables, Equinor and Eni Plenitude - advances in leading the power cable industry towards decarbonization.
Renewable energy is the future, let’s connect it to the world with a modern grid
A key element in securing reliable transmission and distribution of renewable energy is building an interconnected power grid between continents, countries and regions. Interconnectors strengthen the transmission security, support the move away from fossil fuels including natural gas, and minimize the impact of the inherent intermittent fluctuations from renewable energy production. Produced renewable energy should ideally not go to waste, which is why a more efficient and interconnected power grid is needed to ensure transmission security.
At NKT, we deliver! We have already helped connect hydro power from Norway to Germany and will soon connect offshore wind from the North Sea to Southern Germany via the German Corridor projects. Also in the USA we will provide a transmission solution allowing hydro power flowing from Canada to New York City. The connections have started, but much more must be done. An ambitious and long-term plan for interconnected power grids all over the world is needed with firm commitments and faster permit and tender processes, and with stronger focus on international and regional collaboration between TSO’s, project developers and governments.
Let’s continue the conversation after COP27, too
Because we truly care about the necessity of reaching the set goals and targets coming out of COP27, NKT will argue and push for;
- Faster and more efficient permitting processes
- Favourable financing regimes to make it viable to invest now for the future capacity requirements
- Plans for better connected power grids across the world to enable better transmission and use of renewable energy
The success of the transition to renewable energy relies on an interconnected power grid with future-proof capacity to handle the increase in green energy and reliable power transmission.
Power cable systems are the backbone of the green transition – without a proper infrastructure implemented in due time the green transition will stall.
Let’s work together to connect a greener world.