Responding to the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee report on A European Supergrid, Eddie O’Connor, President of the Friends of the Supergrid and CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power, said:
“We welcome the Committee’s clear support for a European Supergrid as an essential part of the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and ensuring energy security. The Committee is right to recognise the long term benefits to the UK of making Supergrid a reality. Their support builds on the endorsement of Supergrid by the Prime Minister earlier this year.”
“The UK is an energy island with significant offshore reserves of renewables. To harness these reserves for ourselves, and to enable us to trade them with our neighbours, will require the creation of the electricity equivalent of the oil and gas pipeline network that we have built over the last 40 years. The Committee recognises this, and we support their conclusion that the development of an offshore electricity network is in the UK’s national interest.”
“Point to point interconnection schemes will provide fewer benefits to the UK grid and to consumers than a meshed interconnected network, as the Committee rightly points out. Developing an interconnected network with its neighbours will enable the UK to provide secure, decarbonised and competitively priced electricity without the additional onshore works associated with storage, grid enhancement and balancing and reserve requirements.”
“Crucially, without the development of Supergrid’s first phase, the UK will not be able to connect sufficient sources of offshore generation to the national grid in time to meet the country’s binding 2020 Renewable Energy targets. We welcome the Committee’s recommendations that the Government deliver a clear plan for the deployment of the first phase of Supergrid as early as possible.”
Provide additional capacity for the UK grid as the country expands its demand for electricity; Help deliver increased energy security to the UK; Lower the cost of electricity – through lower capital costs, higher utilisation, lowered risk, and lower balancing and reserve costs; Enable deployment at scale of technology already on the market; Deeply embed long-term supply chain jobs and investment in the UK; Create opportunities to trade electricity with neighbouring states.
Eddie O’Connor continued:
“Supergrid is the solution to an energy challenge, and the Committee is right to fully recognise this. It is about ensuring that Europe’s, and the UK’s, renewable electrical resource is harnessed to the maximum extent, at the most efficient cost and in an integrated manner.”
Notes to editor:
About Friends of the Supergrid
The Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) is a group of companies and organisations which have a mutual interest in promoting and influencing the policy and regulatory framework required to enable large-scale interconnection in Europe. With a special insight into the technology needed to create Supergrid the Friends will be empowered to build the know-how to deliver it in practice.
FOSG combines companies in sectors that will deliver the High Voltage infrastructure and related technology, together with companies that will develop, install, own and operate that infrastructure. The Friends will design the physical equipment, and work alongside the companies that will build the structures at sea, so that both are empowered to compete and win. The risks of providing this new transmission service will be reduced by the early knowledge gained during the policy formation and design stages.
FOSG is able to present ‘cradle to grave’ interconnection solutions to policy makers and others looking to develop energy policy across Europe through to 2050.
– Supergrid is the future electricity system that will enable the UK and Europe to connect their electricity networks and help create a single market in electricity. This High Voltage DC interconnected and “meshed” network will make possible the generation and sale of renewable electricity across countries, enhancing the 20th century AC networks that supplied power to individual states. It will come to be the transmission backbone of Europe’s decarbonised power sector.
– The UK government has helped to create the North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grids Initiative (NSCOGI) together with nine other European countries. The Group’s Memorandum of Understanding, published in December 2010, commits the members to develop the regulatory, financial and technical frameworks that will allow the development of an offshore interconnected grid in the North Sea; in essence, the first Phase of Supergrid.
For more information, please contact:
Ana Aguado Cornago
CEO, Friends of the Supergrid
Tel: +32 2 5467463