Energy chief slams ‘grossly unacceptable’ solar project delays

The Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK has said solar projects with planning consent and finance ready can be made to wait for over a decade

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Solar Energy UK’s Chief Executive, Chris Hewett, has commended the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) for taking their concerns seriously regarding solar project delays. The committee has launched a new inquiry into the matter.

Hewett expressed his disappointment with the current delay in connecting solar projects to the grid, calling it “grossly unacceptable”.

He emphasised that the situation is particularly concerning since projects with planning consent and financing ready can be made to wait for over ten years.

According to Hewett, the delay in connecting solar projects to the grid has caused billions of pounds in economic damage to the UK.

The Chief Executive urged the government to take action and resolve the issue promptly.

The EAC’s inquiry aims to examine the reasons behind the long waiting times for connecting solar and battery projects to the electricity networks.

The committee attributes the delays to historical underinvestment, unresponsive distribution network operators and regulatory failures.

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson told ELN: “Solar is a key part of our plans to power up Britain, helping to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure homegrown energy. Nearly all of the UK’s solar capacity has been installed since 2010 – amounting to enough to power over four million homes.

“We recognise the challenge of connection delays, and we want to go further and faster – aiming for 70GW solar capacity by 2035. That is why we’re working to cut the time it takes to connect projects to the grid as part of our plans to power up Britain.”

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