Currently the UK’s electricity grid is over 100 years old and in order to accommodate the increasing input from geographically diverse low carbon and renewable energy sources it has been suggested that an investment of over £32 billion will be needed.
Dr. Gordon Edge, Director of Policy, RenewableUK comments: “We have a once in a generation opportunity to build a fit-for-purpose and efficient transmission network, reflecting the emerging low carbon energy mix, which will serve the UK consumers well into the 21st century. This network will both bring cost savings in the long term, and ensure our energy independence.”
Updating the technology in this way would aid the government in reaching their target of 30% of all UK electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020, up from just around 10% currently.
It is important to note that the £32bn will be borne by the energy companies, but as David Hunter, Energy Analyst for M&C Energy Group, points out, this cost will be “passed on to the consumer resulting in a 6% rise in electricity bills.”
However Edge says a modernised grid will, “bring cost savings in the long term.”