Doubts hitting energy super-grid plans

Doubts are holding back investment in the planned European supergrid, according to industry experts.

MPs also heard today (July 14) of fears from industry regulator Ofgem and the National Grid over getting planning consent for the necessary infrastructure for any supergrid.

The comments were made during the Energy and Climate Change Committee looking at 'A European Supergrid?' in London.

National Grid commercial director for transmission, Alison Kay, voiced concerns over 'certainty'.

She said: "Suppliers need certainty to go out and do research and development on the supergrid."

Mrs Kay also said a proposed undersea cable linking Scotland's and England's power infrastructure could 'tie up' the entire of the UK's manufacturing capability for two years.

And then she argued planning consent concerns needed to be addressed with converter stations the 'size of two football pitches' needed for a supergrid.

Ofgem senior partner for transmission and governance, Stuart Cook, also told MP's the situation was not 'black or white'.

He explained the UK needed to sign deals with Sweden and Norway to tap into their hydropower to fill the gaps left by our wind generation and also improve our energy infrastructure.

He said: "Alternating signals will always create gaps, so that's a problem with our infrastructure ... but we mustn't rush into this and policy makers need to encourage innovation."

Luke Walsh


ofgem | Scotland


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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