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WWF: European ‘supergrid’ could make Britain a net electricity exporter

WWF today welcomed a report by the Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on a European 'supergrid', which suggested that investing on grid interconnections, particularly for offshore renewables, could bring significant benefits for the UK.

The report said that developing an 'integrated and interconnected' grid could deliver a wide range of economic benefits, including 'tens of thousands' of jobs in the offshore renewable industry, and could potentially allow the UK to become a net exporter of energy.

WWF argued that a European supergrid could help with cost-efficient system balancing of supply-driven forms of renewable energy (such as wind power), improved integration and competitiveness of Europe's electricity market during the transition towards a decarbonised power sector and improved security of supply by optimising the efficient conversion, delivery and use of Europe's vast renewable energy resources.

Nick Molho, head of energy policy at WWF-UK, said: "The Committee's report shows the clear benefits of developing a European supergrid. Investing in better grid interconnections would result in improved certainty for investors in renewables, a lower cost of decarbonisation, improved security of supply and could unlock the value of the UK's marine renewable resources."

"As the Committee, as well as DECC's recent Offshore Valuation Report2, recognise, the UK's offshore renewable resources could generate the electricity equivalent to 1 billion barrels of oil annually, matching North Sea oil and gas production and making Britain a net electricity exporter. This is a massive opportunity and one which we should, as a country, be embracing."

Notes to editors

1. WWF submitted evidence to the Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee enquiry, A European Supergrid:

2. The Offshore Valuation Report: A valuation of the UK's offshore renewable energy resource, July 2010:

For further information, please contact:
George Smeeton, Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk


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