Skip to main content

Wind Power

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the costs are estimated to be of connecting to the National Grid proposed windfarms estimated to be necessary to meet Government targets; what estimate he has made of the lengths of overhead pylons required to connect such windfarms to the Grid; and if he will make a statement. (207905)

Investment in electricity networks is made by the Transmission Owners and Distribution Network Operators under the regulatory supervision of Ofgem.

In terms of investment over the next few years, Ofgem have agreed £560 million of investment in the transmission network specifically to connect new renewable generation in Scotland and the North of England. In the Transmission Price Control, which covers the five year period from 1 April 2007, a further £3.8 billion of investment in the transmission network was agreed. This figure includes both refurbishment and the costs of connecting new generators of all types and may increase if warranted by generator demand.

The Department is currently preparing a document that will be published as part of the Government’s consultation on developing a strategy for achieving the UK’s contribution towards the European Union renewable energy target of 20 per cent. by 2020. Delivering our contribution is likely to require a significant increase in renewable electricity that goes beyond our current target of 10 per cent. by 2010 and the aspiration to increase it to 20 per cent. by 2020.

An independent study commissioned in support of this work is considering electricity network related issues including the estimated costs and scale of any additional network infrastructure that will be needed to meet the EU target. The study considers a range of scenarios and the final report will be published together with the consultation document.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what factors are taken into account when his Department assesses applications for new offshore wind farms. (208504)

In considering applications for offshore wind farms, Ministers will consider all relevant factors that are drawn to their attention by members of the public, the Government’s statutory advisers and others with an interest in the proposed development and set these against the need for electricity generation from renewable energy sources.