National Symposium on

Future Energy Networks 


National Symposium on Future Electricity Networks

Friday, 15 April 2011

To their enormous credit, Suffolk County Council organised the National Symposium on Future Energy Networks which was held in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament at 1, Great George Street, London on the 19th January 2011. SCC have now released the proceedings of the day which we are glad to provide a link for here. The Symposium day was structured thus:



•Working in the current regime from: National Grid and East Anglia Offshore Wind

•Living with the current regime: joint amenity groups from the East and West of England

•Discussion: Problems and Issues


•Emerging regulatory proposals, DECC & Ofgem

•Technological advances, Siemens Energy

•Valuing the environmental and social impacts of transmission systems: environmental economists, eftec

•Discussion: The way forward

•Summing up and thanks

Introduction , discussion facilitation and concluding address by 

Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Energy Select Committee

The Symposium highlighted a number of issues;

1. there is a need for a strategic approach to electricity transmission in the same way there is for low carbon generation

2. the current offshore regulatory regime is unlikely to deliver a coordinated network

3. the principles behind the new RIIO price control mechanism were broadly welcomed but there was concern that realisation of its objectives may be hindered by the respective statutory duties of Ofgem and the regulated companies

4. the emerging planning regime, within which most of the upgrades to the electricity transmission network would be determined, is insufficiently flexible to alternatives to overhead lines.

5. cost benefit analysis is a well established tool for explicitly accounting for environmental and social impacts in decision making processes and could readily be used to appraise alternative options for reinforcement of the electricity transmission network

6. there was a need to examine how more support could be given to innovative products and innovation more broadly

Suffolk County Council has subsequently presented these thoughts to Charles Hendry MP in a meeting at the end of March, and will continue to campaign for more sustainable approach to electricity network development

Item provided by:-

Michael Wilks

Spatial Planning Projects Officer

Economy, Skills & EnvironmentService Office (B1F4D72)

Suffolk County Council

Endeavour HouseRussell Road 

Ipswich IP1 2BX

((01473) 264064 7 (01473) 216877