Investment will be delivered over the next two years and will see installation of 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas with a further 1,750 charge points in towns and cities.
Britain’s independent energy regulator Ofgem is investing £300m to ‘massively’ upgrade the country’s cables, electricity substations and other infrastructure in preparedness for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.
In pursuit of net zero, Ofgem has given clearance for energy network businesses to invest in 204 low carbon projects to get Britain ready for more electric transport and heat.
The investment will be delivered over the next two years and will see installation of 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas and key trunk road locations, with a further 1,750 charge points in towns and cities.
“This £300m down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40bn of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years,” said Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem.
“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to.”
He continued; “We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.
According to Ofgem, cities like Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro will benefit from increased network capacity to support more ultra-rapid charge points, increased renewable electricity generation and the move to more electric heating for homes and businesses.
“It will be an essential complement to a smarter power system where innovative information technology and attractive energy tariffs for consumers will ensure we make best use of our electricity system infrastructure”
Investment also covers more rural areas with charging points for commuters at train stations in North and Mid Wales and the electrification of the Windermere ferry.
“This joint initiative by Ofgem and the electricity distribution network companies is a welcome development, showing flexibility in the regulatory arrangements in the long-term interests of energy users,” added Keith Bell, member of the Climate Change Committee.
“As well as enabling charging of electric vehicles and the electrification of heat, network investment will provide support for supply chains and, where projects require expansion of the workforce, the creation of new jobs.
“It will be an essential complement to a smarter power system where innovative information technology and attractive energy tariffs for consumers will ensure we make best use of our electricity system infrastructure.”
As part of a broader investment programme for safe, secure and clean energy, the magnitude is expected to be more than £40bn through Ofgem’s regulation of energy networks.
Ofgem, the Energy Networks Association and each of the distribution network operators (DNOs) launched a call for evidence in February 2021 for energy networks to come forward with projects that could help Britain reach net zero emissions faster and support the economy as the country comes out of the pandemic.
You might also like: