A report published in March, commissioned by the trade association for energy infrastructure companies, BEAMA – found that without this level of investment “the prospect of electric vehicles not being changed, heat pumps not having sufficient power, or renewable generation not connecting are real possibilities”.

As part of the government’s net-zero drive, up to 30 million electric vehicle chargers and 20 million heat pumps or hybrid systems could be required by 2050. This could increase electricity demand by more than 70 per cent, according to the report, which was drawn up by the independent not-for-profit group Catapult Energy Systems.

To cater for this increased demand, Catapult Energy Systems said a rapid growth in local and distribution lines and cables is required. Without active mitigation, which could include improving household energy efficiency and introducing network flexibility, an additional 300,000km of distribution cable will be needed...