UK refuses request to build France-UK power cable

Britain’s Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng attends the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Britain on Thursday rejected a planning application for a high-voltage submarine power cable project linking Britain and France.

The project, led by investment firm Aquind, aims to link the power grids of Britain and France to make energy markets more efficient, improve supply and provide greater flexibility.

UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng made the decision to refuse the planning, according to government documents.

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“The Secretary of State has … decided, pursuant to

Section 104(3), to deny permission for development,” the documents say.

Kwarteng disagreed with an earlier assessment of the project by the planning authority. Thursday’s paper included technical reasons related to consideration of alternative routes, which meant Kwarteng could not be certain the need and benefits of the development would outweigh its impacts.

Aquind said he would consider challenging the decision.

“We disagree with the Secretary of State’s decision and the reasons for it. We are reviewing the decision, the reasons for the denial and a possible legal challenge,” a spokesperson said in a statement. sent by email.

The decision can only be challenged through judicial review, said a letter outlining the government’s decision. A judicial review involves asking a court to rule on the legality of a decision made by a governing body.

Aquind claims that its submarine cable linking England and Normandy would be capable of transmitting 16,000,000 MWh of electricity each year, or around 5% of the total annual consumption of Britain and France.

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Reporting by William James; written by Guy Faulconbridge; edited by David Evans

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