North-south divide driving transmission investment

National Grid has identified potential network capacity deficits arising from increasing north-to-south electricity flows in Scotland and England.

National Grid identified the increasing imbalance between generation and demand in the north and south of England and Scotland in its Electricity Ten Year Statement (ETYS), released today.

In this document, the company’s head of network capability Richard Smith said: “From our future energy scenarios we continue to see increasing north to south transmission flows across Scotland and much of northern England to supply southern demand.”

Smith explained that this is largely because of significant growth in low-carbon generation in the north, combined with fossil-fuelled plant closures. He added: “Increasing interconnector activity is also putting additional stress on the southern part of the network.”

To mitigate the risks these pressures pose to security of supply, Smith said National Grid must “reinforce the transmission system in a timely, economic and efficient way.” Key findings in the ETYS expanded on this statements saying: “We [National Grid] have found that increased south-to-north network capacity could be required to meet all the demand in northern England and Scotland.”

The ETYS will now be used to progress a Network Options Assessment which will set out recommendations for investment in early 2017.

Alongside the ETYS, National Grid also published its Gas Ten Year Statement, a Gas Future Operability Planning document and its System Operability Framework. All documents are available for download on its website.