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Power connection between Belgium and Germany inaugurated: "Crucial for shift to renewable energy"

A new high-voltage underground power connection between Germany and Belgium has been inaugurated in Germany's border city Aachen today.  The Belgian federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Flemish greens) was talking about a crucial project in the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. 

It's the first direct electricity link between Belgium and Germany. The undergound power cable has been dubbed ALEGrO. The Belgian grid already had a direct link with France, Britain and the Netherlands, and after 10 years the German link has now been completed. It can transport 1 GW, more or less what one power plant can produce. 

The cable is 90 kilometres long, and will grant Belgium access to cheap renewable energy from Germany. "This means we have a better guarantee of power supplies, but it's also crucial for the shift towards renewable energy", Van der Straeten told reporters. The Belgian PM Alexander De Croo and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel also underlined its "importance for the integration of renewable energy in Europe." 

Experts think that the new connection will have a postive impact on the stability of power prices. The whole project cost about 500 million euros.

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