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Power networks plan could unlock £54bn, report says

By 2030, the Government hopes that 50GW of wind power capacity will be generated offshore.

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Offshore wind farms will need to be connected to households and businesses across the country (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Offshore wind farms will need to be connected to households and businesses across the country (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Offshore wind farms will need to be connected to households and businesses across the country (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The company that oversees Britain’s power networks has set out a plan which could lead to more than £50 billion of investments over the next eight years.

National Grid ESO – the electricity system operator – said a joined-up approach that connects to offshore wind farms across the country could save customers massive added costs.

It set out a plan which could become one of the largest investments in the electricity grid in more than 60 years.

Over a series of documents, the ESO laid out investment needed from grid companies such as SSE and ScottishPower.

It could unlock £54 billion and create up to 168,000 jobs by 2030.

As the UK’s power make-up changes, the way that electricity generating sites are connected to the rest of the country will need major investment.

In the past, power generation was concentrated in a few, smaller locations such as coal or nuclear plants.

This energy was then transported around the rest of the country by a series of cables.

But by 2030, the Government hopes that 50GW of wind power capacity will be generated offshore.

This will require a huge amount of cables that can pull the electricity to the mainland, and then transport it from Scotland and the English coast to the parts of the country that need it

“The ESO is at the heart of strategic planning of the future energy system and is actively contributing to Britain’s energy security and a net zero future,” said ESO executive director Fintan Slye.

“The publication of the Holistic Network Design 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 50 GW of offshore wind generation by 2030 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

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