A report on European electricity supply margins for this winter by ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators, highlights the importance of the UK remaining fully connected to European power grids, says Dr Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).
“ENTSO-E’s analysis shows that there is lots of power available across Europe, but that it is not always able to get to where it is needed. Boosting links between countries would allow this equipment to be used more efficiently, reducing the amount of new capacity needed and keeping bills down for hard-pressed families,” he said.
“It clearly makes the case for the UK becoming more connected to an integrated European grid, sharing supplies across the continent to maintain a secure system at the lowest possible cost. Rolling out planned links to mainland Europe, Scandinavia and Iceland will make the system more resilient, both at home and overseas, benefitting households and businesses, and ensuring that as much output as possible is squeezed from the UK’s system.
“Identifying the problems facing France and the UK this winter only goes to highlight the importance of investing in new capacity. Events across the Channel have shown that relying on old capacity is risky, with France’s nuclear plants proving as unreliable as our coal-fired ones.
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“At home, turning to old and dirty coal plants is not a long-term solution, so encouraging investment in new lower-carbon kit – solar, wind and a small amount of new gas capacity – should be at the top of the Government’s list of priorities.”