Reforms needed to speed up renewable energy rollout

Reforms needed to speed up renewable energy rollout

That's according to the boss of National Grid, John Pettigrew

The boss of National Grid has again called for reforms to slash delays that threaten the rollout of renewable energy across the UK.

Wind and solar farms are being forced to wait as long as 14 years before they can be connected to the grid and start producing electricity.

But John Pettigrew, the man responsible for the cables that connect these projects, said that the current system needs change to allow his engineers to speed up their rollout.

Some projects which are likely to never be built are being put ahead of genuine wind farms from serious operators, he told the PA news agency.

“The connection process that we have in the UK today is first come first served,” Mr Pettigrew said.

“There’s no barriers to entry, and anybody can get in the queue. Quite often, what we’ve seen is you get these projects that are not being developed, they don’t have financing, and they get in the way of the projects that truly are the real ones.”

He said that there are 400 gigawatts (GW) of potential power projects in the queue, enough to produce several times Britain’s electricity needs. About 77 GW of capacity is currently connected to the grid.

The grid launched an amnesty which would let projects remove their names from the hat if they wanted, but it only freed 5.0 GW from the queue, Mr Pettigrew said.

National Grid invested a record £3.5 billion in its networks in the six months to the end of September, it revealed on Thursday.

Pre-tax profit fell 18% to £1.4 billion compared to a year earlier.

According to research this summer by the Local Government Association, more than 1,000 clean energy projects are in limbo because they are waiting for a connection to the grid.

The Government has acknowledged the delays and the Labour party has promised to speed up the grid and help release the £200 billion of privately funded projects that it said are now “stuck.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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