Around GBP22bn ($34bn) is expected to be invested in the UK’s electricity grid by 2021 to enable it to accommodate an increasing amount of renewables-generated power.

Martin Moran, electricity portfolio manager for commercial transmission at the UK’s National Grid, told a conference in Scotland that by 2030 some 40 GW of renewable energy, accounting for 36 per cent of overall capacity, would be fed into the grid from renewables.

He also stated that he expected a 600 MW subsea cable from a proposed offshore wind farm in Scotland to be operational within five years.

The GBP300m cable will run from the Viking Energy wind farm in Shetland to a National Grid hub in the Moray Firth, which would handle cables from Orkney and the north east of Scotland.

Moran said: “The current contracted position is to build the interconnector between Shetland and the offshore hub by April 2016. The major trigger for the ordering of the cable is the Viking Energy project getting approval from Scottish ministers. I have 100 per cent confidence that project approval will be given.”