CBI says planning key to future energy infrastructure

The National Infrastructure Commission must focus on long-term planning to tackle the challenges the UK’s energy sector will face in the next decades. That’s according to a report by the […]

By Jacqueline Echevarria

The National Infrastructure Commission must focus on long-term planning to tackle the challenges the UK’s energy sector will face in the next decades.

That’s according to a report by the CBI which named key areas the commission should prioritise to secure low carbon energy supply.

It suggests the commission should embrace the circular economy, by extracting and storing energy from a wider range of sources and developing new and innovative technologies such as tidal, hydro and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

It also recommends meeting most of the nation’s energy needs from electricity. It believes the electrification of heat and transport would double current peak electricity demand.

In terms of water the CBI believes by 2050, weather patterns will have a significant impact on the UK’s water infrastructure.

It’s crucial that the future impact of climate change on water supplies is factored in when planning housing and infrastructure, it added.

It also suggests investment must be kept up to ensure flood defences can withstand extreme weather events.

The CBI report also gives recommendations in rails and roads infrastructures, ports, airports and digital connectivity.

Rhian Kelly, CBI Business Environment Director said: “With a strong commission, we can deliver the projects – from upgrading our digital connectivity to boost productivity, to investing in new energy sources for a low-carbon economy – that will enable firms up and down the country to get on with growing our economy and creating jobs for the long-run.

“For this to happen though it’s vital the commission is not blown off course by politics. This independent body must be given strong teeth by politicians so that it can recommend significant infrastructure decisions, like building a new runway in the South East, are made for the future benefit of all.”