A European energy “supergrid” would allow the National Grid to balance supply and demand more effectively and could create many thousands of jobs despite its high cost, according to a government report.
The Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee’s European Supergrid report said that using foreign electricity sources to help balance supply and demand would become increasingly necessary as fossil fuel generation is phased out in favour of more intermittent renewable energy sources.
A supergrid could be very costly to build, but would offer a 25% capital cost saving on connecting each new offshore wind or marine energy farm compared to connecting each site individually, the report said. It could also create tens of thousands of new jobs in the offshore renewable industry, said the select committee.
“We potentially have enough wind, wave and tidal energy to … transform the country from a net energy importer to a net energy exporter,” said Energy and Climate Change Select Committee chair Tim Yeo.