A group of MPs have backed plans for a European ‘supergrid’ as it is likely to bring down the high costs of moving to a low carbon economy.
A report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee says that connecting the UK’s electricity system with neighbouring countries would allow the National Grid to balance supply and demand more effectively.
The MPs say the cost of building the grid could be very high, but it may bring several economic benefits which include:
– tens of thousands of new jobs in the offshore renewable industry
– the UK becoming a net exporter of energy
– 25% capital cost savings on connecting offshore projects compared to connecting each site individually
Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee said: “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.”
According to the report, between 80 and 280 wind farms are likely to be constructed in the next twenty years. Their cost and size may prevent this happening if single connections to the shore have to be made.