Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Major investment in energy infrastructure - but is it enough?

OFGEM has announced a £22 billion upgrade to the nation's gas and electricity networks, but National Grid says it's not enough. There's no doubt that if we increase our use of electricity, in particular by using electric cars, we're going to need much more distribution capacity. Equally, as long as we remain committed to fossil fuels, gas is the cleanest. Hence the need to upgrade the gas pipelines as well. National Grid says that the amount authorised by OFGEM is not enough. OFGEM have done their sums differently and say that some work should be done more efficiently and that National Grid has over-estimated the cost of capital. Either way, the cost will find its way on to electricity bills - the consumer will pay in the end. Here's a comment from the Telegraph.

I see in the papers that shadowy City types have not just been manipulating LIBOR but have been playing with the oil price as well. We've been paying too much for petrol. Compensation? Fat chance! One thing we can be sure of: energy will go up. It's a finite resource and we still waste far too much of it.

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