The NordLink cable to Germany

The NordLink project has been developed by Statnett in cooperation with grid company TenneT and investment bank KfW in Germany. The subsea cable will connect the Norwegian and German electricity markets for the first time.

The last couple of years have seen a significant increase in wind power and solar power in Germany. When the winds blow and the sun shines this creates a surplus of renewable energy in Germany, which also leads to lower prices than in Norway. Norway can then import this power and conserve the water in Norway's many hydropower reservoirs.

When there is little production of wind power and solar power in Germany the need for power increases and the prices will be higher than in Norway. Norway can then produce hydropower and export it to Germany. This way we get more out of the resources on both sides of the cable.

The advantages of this exchange of green energy include:

• Increased security of supply because one can import more electricity at a lower price when the power situation is tight
• Increased market for power producers when there is a surplus of power in the national markets
• Facilitation of higher production and consumption of renewable energy in Norway and Germany, thereby contributing to future climate-friendly energy
• More predictable supply situation and price throughout the year and from year to year

The investment decision for the project was taken in 2015, and in 2017 the installation of the subsea cable started. The project will be completed by 2019, followed by trial operations and commercial operations in 2020. 

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All projects start with the planning phase. The following is important in this phase:

  • Identification of needs
  • Concept choice studies 
  • External quality assurance 

Statnett is responsible for planning and applying for implementation of the projects we believe to be socio-economically viable. For international interconnectors, the most important criteria are socio-economic profitability and the contribution to security of supply.

Licensing process

Interconnectors to countries outside of the Nordic region require a licence for facilitation of power exchange - a so-called foreign trade licence. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy processes the application. The Ministry chose to submit Statnett's application for the planned interconnectors to Germany and the UK for public consultation. Any appeals of the decision will be decided by the King in Council, who will make the final decision. The foreign trade licence arrangement is special for Norway, but the countries we plan to connect to also require licences. However, these licences have more in common with Norwegian construction licences.


The project has now entered the construction phase. This phase can comprise of forest clearing, construction and improving new and existing roads on land. At sea, seabed surveys will often be carried out before cable installation and jetting and in some places burial once the cable has been laid. The area around the connection point will also be expanded to create space for a new station to connect the cable to the Norwegian power grid.

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