Octopus Energy have published a report containing “five simple steps” to speeding up grid connections for renewable energy projects in the UK.
The UK reportedly has one of the longest grid connection queues in Europe, with 200GW of projects waiting to connect. This has led to the majority of the sector, including recently the BEIS Committee, calling for urgent action if the nation is to achieve its’ energy and environmental goals.
The ‘End the Gridlock’ report mirrors this call, outlining methods such as queue-jumping, ‘sunset’ clauses and greater levels of collaboration between developers to hasten our transition away from fossil fuels and unlock new wind and solar farms with clean electricity for around 2.5 million homes – roughly enough for all of the annual needs of the households in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds combined.
The five steps in Octopus’ report are as follows:
- Proactive queue jumping to connect renewable projects that are further along
- Enforce sunset clause on grid offers so old fossil fuels ones don’t take up space
- A more transparent can-do attitude with data and tech driving it, creating ‘zones’ ripe for developing renewables quickly
- Increase competition in the grid connection process
- Enable collaboration between developers to share and reduce connection costs
Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, said:
“To accelerate Britain’s colossal renewable energy opportunity and drive down energy bills fast, we need to connect cheap green projects to the grid quicker. There’s no time to waste in an energy crisis – we need to end the gridlock now.
“The single biggest blocker to renewables is waiting to connect to the grid, so we’ve identified quick wins that can genuinely make a difference today and connect wind and solar farms at pace. If we act fast, we can reduce reliance on expensive, polluting fossil fuels, and jump-start a cheaper, greener energy future for British homes and businesses.”
During the last four years the number of renewable energy projects applying for grid connections has quadrupled, in line with the global switch to clean sources of energy. With the numbers expected to rise further this year, the problem is only on course to amplify without urgent intervention.
A few weeks ago the National Grid announced the “largest overhaul of the grid in generations” that will involve “significant new infrastructure” being built across England and Wales, to better support clean energy generation and delivery. Let us hope these steps ease what has been billed as the biggest hurdle facing the country as we strive to achieve our climate and energy security goals.