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19 Dec 2008 02:12:07

Offshore grid preparation must start

Offshore grid preparation must start
Preparation for an offshore grid to connect wind and marine power generating facilities to the National Grid should start almost immediately, according to a new report.

A study commissioned by the Crown Estate recommended a "no regret" approach to reinforcing elements of the onshore grid so it was ready for new generating capacity off the coast.

The Crown Estate, which owns the sea bed, said it was pleased with the report, which suggested £10.4 billion of investment was needed to connect the up to 25 gigawatts of offshore renewable capacity that could be installed by 2020.

Rob Hastings, director of the marine estate at The Crown Estate, said: "Ensuring that developers and the supply chain are confident that the grid issues are being addressed will attract investment and contribute to the UK's energy security of supply, help meet the UK's renewables targets and create jobs across the UK."

Various organisations have called for a European 'supergrid' to be created in the North Sea.

It could use high voltage direct current lines, which lose less electricity than the alternating current lines used by UK pylons.

The European Commission last month drew up plans for a network which would connect offshore wind farms and coastal countries in a bid to develop a system which could give the EU energy independence.



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