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Unlocking Britain's renewable potential by 2035 requires 58 billion pound investment in the electricity grid

The Electricity System Operator (ESO) unveiled its latest report titled "Beyond 2030", outlining the need for a 58 billion pound investment in the electricity grid to accommodate the increasing demand for electricity and accelerate the decarbonization efforts in Great Britain by 2035.

According to the report, this investment will allow Britain to exploit the economic potential as a leader in offshore wind by moving the power to where it is needed. Plan connects further 21GW of offshore wind in development off the coast of Scotland to the grid in an efficient and coordinated way. This would mean that there would be 86 GW of offshore wind, making Britain a global leader in offshore wind and floating offshore windfarms, says ESO.

For comparison, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) states that there is currently 63GW of offshore wind installed globally. In total there will be over 30 GW of offshore wind in Scottish waters compared to 6 GW of peak electricity demand in Scotland in 2035. The plan moves that power to where it can be used – both around Scotland and across Britain. 

ESO's report highlights the need for rapid and coordinated action between the energy sector, government, regulator and communities to create the grid infrastructure in time for 2035. The report also shows that 20,000 annual jobs can be created and sustained by our plans for 2030 and beyond

In this regard, ESO recommends an extension of the offshore grid and a new North-South electricity backbone. It explains that the offshore wind farms being built off the coast of Scotland will transport their green energy through a new electricity grid that could stretch from Peterhead to Merseyside, supplying homes and businesses across Scotland and the north of England.

ESO also recommends the construction of new offshore power stations along the east coast of Britain. By 2035, Britain will have one of the most extensive and coordinated marine networks in the world, with three times more submarine cabling than terrestrial, it says. 

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