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Grid capacity in Wales inquiry launched

1 February 2022

The Welsh Affairs Committee launches an inquiry exploring the implications of grid capacity issues for the energy sector in Wales, particularly in relation to Wales meeting its net zero targets.

The inquiry follows the Committee’s previous inquiry, Renewable energy in Wales. The Committee argued that Wales could be a leader in renewable energy, with strengths in onshore and offshore wind, solar, wave and tidal energy. However, it found that infrastructure issues, such as grid capacity, could hinder renewable energy projects and pose a significant challenge to the ambitions of both the UK and Welsh governments in meeting net zero commitments.

During this inquiry, the Committee will be considering the current constraints facing the grid. It will then make recommendations to Government on what measures should be taken to ensure it can cope with added demands as the UK moves towards net zero.

Chair's comment

Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP, Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, said:

“A grid fit for the 21st Century must be able to support a new generation of renewable energy projects as well as extensive electric vehicle charging.

“As our Committee found last year, grid capacity poses potentially serious barriers to Wales becoming a world leader in renewable energy. Our Committee has today launched this inquiry to delve deeper into what the potential roadblocks are, and how they can be addressed so we remain on track to meet our net zero commitments.”

Terms of reference

The Committee is inviting written evidence responding to the following questions. The deadline for submissions is Thursday 31 March.

  • What are the current capacity issues facing the National Grid?
  • How are the constraints on Wales’ grid likely to be exacerbated as demand for renewable energy surges?
  • How can Wales unlock the grid and ensure that it is ready for future demand?
  • What can be done to incentivise investment in grid flexibility, in particular vehicle to grid technology and ‘smart’ charging?
  • What should be done to ensure that the grid, particularly in rural areas, can cope with the extra demand that will be generated from the transition to electric vehicles?
  • What level of anticipatory investment in grid capacity is required by the UK Government in order to ensure that Wales can deliver its decarbonisation roadmap?
  • How can the UK Government, the Welsh Government and Ofgem work together to improve grid capacity?

Further information

Image: © Robin Drayton (cc-by-sa/2.0)