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Electricity Transmission and Distribution

Volume 747: debated on Wednesday 13 March 2024

3. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero and the Welsh Government on electricity transmission and distribution policy. (901884)

The Government are committed to transforming our electricity network to reach our energy security and net zero ambitions. We recently announced an ambitious electricity network package that will reduce consumer bills, bring forward £90 billion of investment over the next 10 years and allow us to harness Wales’s renewable resources, such as floating offshore wind in the Celtic sea.

Pylon developments for electricity transmission and distribution purposes are very controversial in the communities that are expected to host them. I have four such potential developments in my constituency, and the whole of Carmarthenshire is in uproar. Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero to commission a study on technologies such as cable ploughing, which allow undergrounding and have a comparable cost to pylons?

I understand the concerns that have been raised in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency. He has discussed this with me previously, and is championing his constituents’ concerns. The information that I have been given is that laying cables underground would cost five to seven times more, but I hear what he is saying. If he has a presentation or something that he can forward to me, I would be delighted to make sure that officials in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero see it.

On the subject of transmission and distribution policy, is my right hon. Friend aware that the Senedd has decided to ban GB News? What is his policy on that?

There may be a small electricity saving, but it is very disappointing that the Welsh Labour Government are preventing a perfectly legitimate viewpoint from being heard by Members of the Senedd, who would do well to listen to people who do not always agree with everything they say.