National Grid warning network decay risks power blackouts: Due to the decaying electricity network, the boss of National Grid has warned Britain will be at risk of power blackouts.

Speaking to The Times, John Pettigrew said Ofgem‘s plans to cut investments in energy networks could result in an increased risk of blackouts as the regulator rejected proposals to bill customers for replacing old power lines.

He told paper: “The risk of a loss of supply increases as a result of not spending as much on asset health, because the assets are deteriorating as they age.”

Parts of the UK are at greater risk because of the cancelled projects and the current condition of the network, noted the National Grid’s CEO.

A £40 million project to replace one of the two cables serving Sheffield, which has had reliability issues and needs to be replaced in the next five years was highlighted by Mr Pettigrew.

If the cable failed, Sheffield would be served by just a single line, putting the city at heightened risk of a blackout.

According to Mr Pettigrew, more than £3 billion of projects focused on the reliability of the existing electricity networks the been proposed by the National Grid, but this had been cut by an “unprecedented” 80% which could deteriorate the resilience of the network.

A spokesperson from Ofgem commented: “National Grid has failed to demonstrate the need to replace this cable, citing, for example, a single survey from 2015 as evidence to justify spending a proposed £40 million of consumers’ money on this repair.

“So we have left the door open for them to come back to us with better evidence and, if they provide it, we, of course, stand ready to fund this repair.”

Adding: “Maintaining a strong and reliable network for consumers is our top priority, and wherever network companies have demonstrated they need vital funding to do this we have given them the go-ahead.

“We will not green-light spending billions of consumers’ money on poor or poorly evidenced proposals. However, we have left the door open for companies to come back to us with more evidence on the work they need funding for.

“We now expect them to come forward with better-evidenced plans, and stand ready to deliver funding when they do so.”

National Grid warning network decay risks power blackouts

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