In August 1850, English entrepreneur John Watkins Brett and his younger brother Jacob laid the world's first submarine telegraph cable across the straits of Dover, linking England and France. When John operated his telegraph device set up in a barn-like structure on the English side, his message was received and printed out instantly some 20 miles away in Calais, France.
Although the connection was soon broken and the cable rendered useless, the following year the brothers tried again with more lasting success, ultimately giving rise to the world's first undersea communications business. The Second Hundred Years' War between England and France had concluded just 36 years earlier, but this new ability to communicate was nonetheless embraced by citizens on both sides, and in fact has been regarded as the event that truly ended the hostilities.
Today, some 160 years later, undersea communications cables are linking nations all over the world, along with even larger capacity electric transmission cables. In 2010, nine nations on the North Sea, including England and France, agreed to commence construction of a "Super Grid (high-voltage direct current power grid)". The plan calls for the laying of thousands of kilometers of high-performance, undersea cables that will efficiently transmit electric power generated by renewable energies. Example sources include wave and wind power off the coasts of Denmark and England respectively, and hydro electricity generated in Norway.
Large power grids spanning national borders are shedding light on the future of eco-friendly energies.
MC is currently developing undersea electric transmission infrastructure in England and Germany. In Germany, the Borwin Project (with a total capacity 1,200 mW) is slated to begin coming online after 2012. It will supply the onshore grid with electrical power generated by offshore wind turbines, the construction of which is now in the works. Undersea transmission infrastructure is essential to deliver the eco-friendly wind power to the mainland. Through Borwin and other undersea transmission projects in Europe, MC is committed to helping realize low-carbon societies.
Article appeared in Asahi Shimbun's "GLOBE" feature of August 19, 2012