Ceredigion MP Ben Lake has urged the UK Government to make underground cabling the default method for installing new electricity grid infrastructure.

There are 4,500 miles of overhead electricity transmission lines in England and Wales, but just over 900 miles of underground cables.

Plaid Cymru politicians have called for the planned controversial pylon route between south Ceredigion and Carmarthen to be put underground.

The Green Gen Towy Teifi project, which intends to link Bute Energy's proposed Lan Fawr Energy Park near Lampeter to a new National Grid substation near Carmarthen, includes a 52km-long 132kV overhead line.

The project, in its early phase has prompted serious concerns from residents and businesses about its visual, environmental, and economic implications. 

Concerns over the proposed Tywi Teifi network have previously been raised in the Senedd and last week Ben Lake MP reiterated calls for the undergrounding of transmission cables during a debate in Westminster Hall on Pylons and upgrading the National Grid. 

During his speech Mr Lake stated: “What’s at heart here is this idea of just transition – of balancing the concerns of communities with the need for new infrastructure. Although definitions of just transition differ, my understanding of the concept is that it should see to bring about fairer outcomes from the transition to net zero by maximising the benefits of climate action and minimising the negative impact for communities.

“We all agree that the National Grid needs upgrading. It needs strengthening, but it is disappointing that the Government has, thus far, failed to truly consider the benefits and advantages of cable ploughing techniques.”

Mr Lake argued that installing transmission cables by using cable ploughing techniques, such as is used by a local company based in Pencader (ATP), could drastically reduce the cost and time taken to complete infrastructure upgrades. 

Mr Lake added: “Cable ploughing could be a means of balancing the need for any new electricity infrastructure with the importance of minimising not only financial costs, but also unnecessary environmental impact and community opposition.”