HC Deb 20 February 1984 vol 54 cc557-8
16. Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he expects the new cross-Channel electricity link to come into operation.

Mr. Giles Shaw

I am advised that the CEGB expects to commission the first stage of the link in 1985, with the second following a year later. The House will recall that the link was approved in principle in 1978, in order to facilitate the transfer of electricity in both directions.

Mr. Hannam

I welcome my hon. Friend's reply. Does he agree that there are two main benefits from that link: first, that there will be greater flexibility of supply at times of peak demand; and, secondly, that we shall be able to sell our surplus electricity to the European grid system at good prices?

Mr. Shaw

Yes, my hon. Friend is quite right. There was, and is, intended to be a two-way benefit from the supply and distribution of electricity.