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Title:British energy developers to be told: speed up projects or leave queue for grid
Date:6/2/2023 6:30:12 AM

Move expected to help reduce waits of up to 15 years to connect solar power installations

Britain’s electricity system operator is to tell energy developers to get on with their projects or get out of the queue for a grid connection as it struggles to manage the growing backlog of delayed green energy projects.

The move comes after MPs revealed that businesses in Great Britain are facing waits of up to 15 years to secure a connection to solar power installations.

Under the new plans developers that have applied to connect to the grid will need to prove that their schemes are making progress, or risk losing their place in the queue.

The approach is expected to help speed up the 10- to 15-year wait for a grid connection, which is holding back billions in green investment and threatens to derail the UK’s progress towards its climate targets.

The electricity system operator, which is owned by the FTSE 100 energy firm National Grid, has faced fierce criticism for the green energy gridlock but has promised that its new reforms could slash up to 10 years from the current waiting time.

Barnaby Wharton, a director at Renewable UK, said: “Grid connection delays are holding back £15bn of investment in offshore wind alone over the course of this decade, at the very time when we need to boost our energy security as quickly as possible and provide cheap power for consumers to tackle the cost of living crisis.”

Last month an inquiry by MPs on the environmental audit committee warned that the government’s ambition to install 70GW of solar by 2035 might not happen if connection delays continued.

There are about 220 projects waiting to be hooked up to the national transmission system before 2026 but only half of these projects have planning permission and some have pushed back their expected start date by up to 14 years, according to the system operator.

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Organization:Guardian - Energy
Date Added:6/2/2023 6:38:39 AM