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UK electricity grid needs £4.7bn by 2020

Investment worth up to £4.7 billion could be needed to upgrade the UK electricity grid network to accommodate new power generation including renewables by 2020, according to the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG).

Up to 1000 km of new cables will be needed to ensure new renewables and nuclear power stations can be connected to the electricity grid as part of the UK’s commitment to generate around 30% of its electricity from renewables by 2020 and develop new nuclear plants.

The report states that connecting up to 35 GW of renewables and up to 10 GW of new nuclear power will require a major upgrade of the UK’s electricity networks and that work needs to start now to upgrade the existing grid. The report also includes proposals for high voltage subsea cable links between Scotland and England.

The UK Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has announced it intends to approve the funds needed to begin the pre-construction work on specific transmission projects that are due to start work soon, and that it is continuing to develop proposals to make the regulatory regime capable of meeting the challenges presented by the 2020 renewable energy targets.

Furthermore, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem are leading a project to put a new regulatory regime in place to connect offshore wind projects to the onshore grid in the most cost effective way. A final consultation on the plan is expected soon.

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