Thursday, 29 September 2011

European supergrid would be beneficial for UK grid

Although the cost of developing such a grid would be very high, it could bring a host of benefits such as tens of thousands of new jobs in the offshore renewable energy industry and allowing the UK to become a net exporter of energy.

It would also deliver a 25% capital cost saving on connecting each offshore wind or marine farm compared to connecting site individually.

Tim Yeo, Chair of the ECCC, says: "The UK’s electricity system is the least interconnected of all European Countries – but we also have vast offshore resources of renewable energy. In fact, we potentially have enough wind, wave and tidal energy to more than match our North Sea oil and gas production and transform the country from a net energy importer to a net energy exporter.

“If we continue developing these renewable resources site-by-site it could be prohibitively expensive with large individual connections for each power plant. Developing an integrated and interconnected offshore network would allow us to tap these huge resources cost-efficiently and prepare the ground for a future European Supergrid – if it is necessary and feasible in future."

An offshore network could also provide vital support to the UK's ageing onshore grid.

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