The UK has set a clear ambition for our country to be a global leader in clean energy. The Government has set a commitment to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and an ambition to connect 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 – enough energy to power every home in the country.
To achieve this, offshore wind is being developed at scale and around 60% of the current offshore wind projects will come ashore along the East Coast.
Couple this with new nuclear generation proposed at Sizewell C and greater interconnection with countries across the North Sea, and we expect to see a significant increase in the level of renewable and low carbon electricity generation connecting in East Anglia.
While our existing high voltage electricity network in East Anglia has been sufficient until today, it doesn’t have the capability needed to reliably and securely transport all the energy that will be connected by 2030 while working to the required standards.
In the first half of this decade we are investing significantly in upgrading the existing network, but that still won’t deliver the capability that is needed by the end of the decade. We need to reinforce the region’s electricity network to address this, including between Bramford and Twinstead.
We need to strengthen the network here to increase the network capability in the region to carry the clean green energy that is proposed in East Anglia. It will play a vital role in delivering electricity efficiently, reliably, and safely and will support the UK’s move to reduce carbon emissions.
We first carried out work to develop proposals for this additional network capability between 2009 and 2013. Changes to when the planned new generation would come online in East Anglia meant that work was put on hold at the end of 2013.
Network studies now show that we will need the reinforcement to be in place before the end of the decade. We now need to start work again to take forward the proposals.