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European countries plan $US43 billion energy grid to link hydro, other renewables

Nine European countries back a plan to develop a US$43 billion North Sea renewable energy transmission network that would link tidal power projects, offshore wind farms, hydroelectric plants and other renewable energy sources.

Germany's minister for economy and technology said the project linking the countries to renewable energy was "crucial" to Europe's energy goals, wire reports indicate.

Rainer Bruderle said the offshore energy park that would link tidal power with wind and hydroelectric plants "focuses on network connections and integration, which is crucial for wind energy to reach consumers and to make offshore energy generation a success."

The plan calls for new cables that could handle the fluctuations inherent in renewable energy sources. They would connect offshore windmills controlled by Germany and Britain with hydroelectric sources in Norway and tidal power stations controlled by Belgium and the Netherlands.

Representatives from the countries backing the transmission network are scheduled to meet in February to discuss the project, according to wire reports.

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