UK’s offshore wind target ‘requires £54bn investment’

National Grid ESO has published its long-awaited report outlining recommendations for 23GW of new offshore wind capacity

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Britain’s electricity system operator, the ESO has published its flagship report Pathway to 2030 including the Holistic Network Design about what is needed to support the large-scale delivery of electricity from offshore wind.

The Holistic Network Design (HND) represents one of the largest investment plans in critical electricity transmission networks since the 1950s and 60s.

The ESO said £54 billion worth of new grid infrastructure will be required to help the UK hit its target of up to 50GW of offshore wind by 2030.

According to ESO, the HND requires significant investment in the existing infrastructure to transport electricity to where it will be used.

It recommends 94 reinforcements totalling £21.7 billion to be delivered by the end of the decade.

The ESO suggests that 11 reinforcements require acceleration in their delivery to meet 2030 targets, while many of the remaining 83 projects will need to be delivered before this timeframe to improve access and make it easier for the supply chain.

The 23GW of offshore wind capacity unlocked by the plan in the HND is predicted to create up to 168,000 jobs by 2030.

Fintan Slye, Executive Director of ESO, said: “The publication of the HND is a key step in providing certainty to offshore wind developers and mitigating potential impacts on the environment and local communities from energy infrastructure.

“It will also ensure the process provides value for money for consumers while meeting the government’s ambition for up to 50GW of offshore wind generation by 2030 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

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