The best solutions to our energy future don’t require massive new electricity grids
There is a new campaign that I’m beginning to get involved with. It builds on my early experience as Director of the Open University Energy Research Group many years ago, but also is an opportunity to present a genuinely sustainable solution to our energy problems.
National Grid is proposing to build “a new 400,000 volts (400 kV) electricity overhead transmission line” across East Anglia and is presenting it as a ‘green’ solution: “a crucial role and pivotal in turning the UK’s net zero ambitions into reality.”
“The existing network in East Anglia currently carries around 3,200 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation. Over the next decade we expect more than 15,000 MW of new generation and 4,500 MW of new interconnection to connect in the region.
That is, they say their network needs to carry SIX times the power it does now. Imagine the current set of pylons and the lower voltage feeder networks around East Anglia expanded by a factor of six. A large and growing number of people are very upset by this prospect and rightly so.
National Grid present this six times expansion as a necessary fact, and are consulting only on the details of the proposed new transmission line, such as whether it should go east or west of Roydon. But of course, it isn’t a fact, it is a fantasy, and a dystopian fantasy too. It is applying 20th century thinking to a 21st century problem, but a much better 21st century vision is available that is much more environmentally sound.
Here’s a 2 page document I wrote that gives a more sensible alternative.