REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive
and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 310

Revolt news 310 19/10/2010 Print (pdf) Version

1. Correction: news309 gave the Powerwatch website wrongly, without the dot uk at the end. It should be

2. National Gridís website has a summary of responses to its July / August stakeholder "preliminary consultation" on the Transmission Price Control Review (TPCR). REVOLT is listed as a public interest group and contributed by interview after being contacted in July by the consultation company. We encourage stakeholder engagement. The NG preliminary consultation was principally about the process of stakeholder engagement. Ofgem is to conduct the TPCR5 consultation next year.

3. Meanwhile, Ofgem has its ProjectTransmit review of grid charges to new generators already underway, and has published (October 2010) its decision on the RIIO basis for network regulation. Ofgemís Project Discovery (Feb 2010) set the scene.

4. This week 18-10-10 the coalition government issued a 300-page response to the consultation on the Energy National Policy Statements (NPSs), together with revised versions put out for further consultation in view of the changes. Revolt had responded to the consultation in February regarding EN-1 (Overarching policy) and EN-5 (Electricity Networks), two of the six NPSs on energy. We expect to respond to the revision.

5. The government response on the subject of EMFs in the NPS was to include reference to the SAGE report, but then to misrepresent the SAGE report in favour of the WHO/HPA view, ignoring the other view which SAGE recognised. In section 5.27 the government view plainly attributes the WHO/HPA view to SAGE, which is wrong as a matter of record and flatly contradicts the SAGE report (sections 5.4 and 5.5).

6. The first NPS consultation had raised many responses (1100, over half of them connected with the CPRE campaign) on powerlines and their negative impact, calling for more undergrounding and revision of its cost estimates. The government response defends overhead lines and announces that National Grid, with government support, has commissioned an independent review of lifetime costs of underground and undersea alternatives. Surely this strains "independent" to the point of a contradiction in terms. The government response also says "it is open to the IPC to require undergrounding where it considers that such an approach is justified".

7. Regarding the government-industry group ENSG determining strategic options through its 2020 Vision and other reports, the government response claims, predictably, that this is neither a plan nor a programme and therefore exempt from Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), but that "the AoSs for the draft NPSs under the Planning Act 2008 have been designed to comply with the requirements" for SEA. This still excludes stakeholders from the stage of developing strategic options.

8. The government has also ruled out the Severn barrage. "The key conclusion is that the Government does not see a strategic case to bring forward a Severn tidal scheme in the immediate term, due to the costs and risk for the taxpayer and energy consumer being excessive compared to other low-carbon energy options. More information can be found at "

Statements made by the editor or by other parties and quoted for information do not necessarily represent the views of Revolt. Criticism of government and industry, and grievances from members of the public, are in the nature of Revolt's work, though we try to give credit where it is due. Revolt is strictly non-party-political and regrets any offence which may be inadvertently caused.




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