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05 Mar 2009 04:03:06

£4.7bn needed for electricity grid

£4.7bn needed for electricity grid
Connecting and integrating new sources of energy, including renewables and nuclear, will require a £4.7 billion investment in the electricity grid, according to a government-funded body.

The investment would help meet European commitments to generate 15 per cent of electricity from renewables and facilitate the connection of "other essential new generation", according to a report from the Electricity Network Strategy Group (ENSG).

Among the recommendations are laying undersea cables along the east and west coasts of the UK and investing in areas where it is anticipated new power generation projects will be built.

The report claims the investment would enable the electricity transmission networks to accommodate a further 45 gigawatts (GW) of power, of which 34GW could come from onshore and offshore wind.

In the fuel mix scenario on which the investment levels are based, 34.1 per cent of electricity in 2020 will come from gas, 29.1 per cent wind, 19.8 per cent coal, 6.9 per cent nuclear and 3.3 per cent will come from other renewables, with the remaining 5.5 per cent labelled as "other".

The Friends of the Earth welcomed the report.

Executive director Andy Atkins said: "Major investment in the National Grid is urgently needed to enable the UK to meet its renewable energy targets and tackle our greenhouse gas emissions.

"The UK could be a world leader in green power - we are the windiest country in Europe and have the continent's best wave and tidal resources."



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