NIC Needs To Be Strong On Energy and Water Development


Tough decisions will have to be made with purpose and clarity by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to deliver major energy and water projects says the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The newly created NIC has been given the foundations by which it can deliver relevant infrastructure improvements thanks to the CBI revealing eight areas it says should be prioritised. This includes water and flood defences, low-carbon energy, and energy generation and supply.

Rhian Kelly, the CBI’s business environment director says the NIC must be an enabler, helping to deliver projects across the UK that promote industry growth, create jobs and get the economy flowing. To accomplish this, the NIC should not be hindered by politics or red tape and must be given the weight to push through infrastructure decisions that can make significant gains.

Areas worth targeting, concludes the report, involves such initiatives as the extraction and storage of energy from a wider range of sources and improving the opportunities that will come from a “circular economy”. That means developing existing technologies and embracing new ones such as carbon capture and storage, tidal power and hydrogen.

Supply of water needs to be flexible, making use of variable volumes thanks to climate change and weather patterns impacting differently across the UK. This must be factored into housing and infrastructure planning over the long term.

In terms of promoting a low-carbon economy, the CBI suggests the commission should look at boosting energy infrastructure and generation to promote electrification within heating and transport. This level of focus must also be on flood defences with up to 2.1m people projected to be at risk within 35 years. Flood defences must be more resilience while upstream water capture should be considered. Through these initiatives the NIC can potentially prove to be a major success. Time will tell.



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BDC 317 : Jun 2024