Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Written Evidence

Memorandum 79

Supplementary submission from National Grid

  Ofgem and BERR have proposed a competitive tender approach to appoint Transmission Owners for offshore networks in order to deliver a regulated solution offshore that introduces competitive benefits to end consumers. The world has changed significantly since the original decision on the direction of the offshore regime was made. Most importantly with the EU targets for c.40% renewable generation by 2020. In order to achieve these targets offshore wind needs to provide a strong contribution.

  We do not think the proposed regulatory regime for offshore transmission can deliver the Governments aspirations for around 30GW of offshore renewables by 2020. The proposed regime is overly complex with many areas of the regulatory arrangements still uncertain and undecided. Further, we do not share the Ofgem/BERR view on the consumer benefits in terms of cost that this regime will produce. In National Grid's view, the deployment of simple, co-ordinated, regulated transmission build is a more effective approach to help meet the significant challenge which is ahead of us in the next 12 years and we advocate the extension of the regulated onshore transmission franchises to cover offshore transmission for renewables.

  We do recognise that National Grid as Great Britain System Operator has to play an integral role and has a significant responsibility in delivering the offshore transmission regime and we are absolutely committed to supporting the Government and BERR in the delivery of their regime.

April 2008

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