Major new electricity pipeline between Peterhead and Merseyside proposed


A nearly £60 billion investment is needed to upgrade the electricity grid in the UK to hit government decarbonisation targets by 2035, a new plan has urged. 

Credit: Electricity Systems Operator.

As part of its Beyond 2030 report, National Grid’s Electricity Systems Operator (ESO) has recommended a major expansion of the offshore grid off the coast of Scotland and construction of a new electrical spine, potentially running from Peterhead to Merseyside. 

The plan is targeting an additional 21 GW of power from offshore windfarms off the UK coast, taking offshore wind power generating capacity in Britain to 86 GW, far exceeding the total 63 GW of offshore wind currently installed globally. 

Around 4,000 miles of underwater cabling could be installed alongside 1,000 miles of power lines on land, it is estimated.  

More than 20,000 multi-sector jobs could be created annually, with 90 per cent of the benefits occurring outside London and the Southeast, according to ESO. 

The new electrical spine proposal is an early-stage option which will require further consideration and consultation.   

But ESO is urging “swift and coordinated action” to deliver the network infrastructure in time to meet 2035, in line with the Sixth Carbon Budget 

The £58 billion estimate for work between 2030 and 2035 is additional to a prior £54 billion estimate for work taking place now until 2030. 

“Great Britain’s electricity system is the backbone of our economy and must be fit for our future,” said Fintan Slye, executive director of ESO.  

“ESO’s Beyond 2030 network design outlines recommendations on the investment needed and how and where to coordinate the build of this new critical national infrastructure. 

“To deliver the clean, secure, decarbonised system set out by Government and Devolved Governments we must take swift, coordinated and lasting action working collaboratively across all parts of the energy sector, government, the regulator and within our communities.” 

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