Britain backs undersea cable to tap Moroccan renewable power
Britain has designated a plan to build a subsea cable carrying renewable energy from Morocco as a project of "national significance", which could help smooth planning hurdles.
Xlinks, a company chaired by former Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis, wants to build 3,800 kilometres of subsea cables to supply solar and wind power from the Sahara to 7 million British homes by 2030.
While Xlinks called the government's recognition of its project "a major milestone", many challenges remain.
As well as needing to build the world's longest high-voltage direct current subsea cable, Xlinks needs to secure more funding, agree long-term pricing contracts, and be granted permission to run through Spanish and French waters.
The estimated cost is between 20 billion pounds ($24.47 billion) and 22 billion pounds, Lewis told the Financial Times.
Xlinks said that the project would create nearly 10,000 jobs in Morocco, of which 2,000 will become permanent, and that it was consistent with the country's energy export strategy.