No time to lose: ‘Urgent action needed for UK’s grid decarbonisation’

National Grid has urged the government to change the grid connection system and transition from a ‘first come, first served’ to a ‘connect or move’ process with stricter thresholds

Decarbonising the UK power system by 2035 requires a significant transformation in the scale and pace of delivering new electricity network infrastructure.

That’s the key message conveyed in the report published earlier today by National Grid, which suggests the key to a greener grid lies in “substantial network investments”, which will enable the connection of vast volumes of new low carbon power generation anticipated in the coming years.

National Grid urges the government to “revolutionise” how clean energy is integrated into the grid.

The company said the UK needs to move away from a “first come, first served” approach to a more efficient “connect or move” process.

To make this happen, the UK needs to set stricter criteria for applicants, ensuring that only projects capable of connecting effectively move forward, while redirecting those that cannot, so as not to hinder or delay others, according to the report.

Responding to the report, RenewableUK‘s Director of Future Electricity Systems Barnaby Wharton said: “We need swift action to connect new renewable energy projects at the pace required to decarbonise the UK’s electricity system by 2035.

“Reforming the planning system to make it more agile is long overdue to ensure that decisions about clean energy infrastructure are taken faster more swiftly. We can’t carry on waiting for up to ten years to connect new projects to the grid at a time when we should be prioritising Britain’s energy security.

“Instead, we need to anticipate where grid is going to be needed, so infrastructure is in place as soon as it’s required. Giving Ofgem a new mandate to put delivering net zero at the heart of every decision it takes will help revolutionise the speed at which the UK could build a grid that is fit for purpose in the twenty-first century.”

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