Committee announces inquiry into low carbon network infrastructure

17 September 2015

The Energy and Climate Change Committee launches a new inquiry into the future of the UK electricity infrastructure.

The UK electricity infrastructure is ageing and substantial investment will be required to upgrade the network (both transmission and distribution) to address today and tomorrow's energy system needs. As low carbon technologies and distributed energy play a greater role, the move towards a smarter, more localised and diverse system presents both challenges and opportunities.

Ensuring this transition occurs in a cost-effective way while maintaining system security and stability is challenging, and the Government needs to ensure that policies allow proper planning, testing and investment to take place. It will require addressing all elements of the energy infrastructure, including those on the demand side of the meter, engaging with customers and addressing their needs.

Purpose of the inquiry 

The Committee will be investigating what changes are required from today’s electricity infrastructure to build a low carbon, flexible and fair network.

Send a written submission 

The Committee invites responses addressing some, or all, of the following questions in no more than 3,000 words:

  • What are the limitations of today's electricity infrastructure and how can these limitations be addressed? 
  • What will a low carbon network look like, what are the challenges for Government and other bodies in achieving it, and what benefits (environmental, financial or otherwise) will it bring to the UK?
  • How can we ensure that a low carbon network is designed and operated fairly and in a way that helps to minimise consumer bills? 
  • How can we ensure that grid connections are readily accessible across the country and that costs are fair?
  • What are the key technologies available today and how effectively do Government and Ofgem incentivise innovation and development of the grid and grid technologies? 
  • What impact will changes to the electricity system – including distributed energy generation/storage, demand response and interconnection – have on the role of National Grid and the Distribution Network Operators? (e.g. in terms of ownership structures, responsibility for system balancing and system security)
  • What lessons can be learnt from low carbon electricity grids from other countries? 

Deadline for submissions: Monday 2 November 2015 

Submissions should be submitted via the Low carbon network infrastructure Inquiry Page.

Further information

You can tweet @CommonsECC about #UKEnergyNetwork

Image: iStockphoto

Share this page