Queue-jumping, weeding out legacy upgrades, more collaboration between developers, and a data-driven approach for regional network operators, are among remedies proposed today by Octopus Energy to ease Britain’s notorious bottlenecks in connecting new sites producing green power.
The suggestions are included in a platform of five key policy reforms urgently needed, says the supplier, to ease Britain’s 200GW logjam of clean energy hook-ups, assessed as among Europe’s worst.
Delays reportedly as long as 15 years in connecting new wind and solar farms increasingly frustrate grid-ready projects, MPs on Parliament’s energy committee complained last week.
In a new policy paper, ‘End the Gridlock’, Octopus’s generation arm spells out steps for greener, quicker hook-ups:
- Queue jumping should be encouraged, enabling wind and solar schemes closest to completion to secure confirmed connection permits earliest
- Weed out older connection offers with no-appeal sunset clauses, so fossil-reliant upgrades plants cannot block the queue
- Taking a transparent, data-driven approach to connections, granting permits within zones defined by evidenced, most urgent need for the most new renewables
- Increase competition between developers in the grid connection process, while at the same time
- Fostering collaboration to share and cut connection costs
Octopus calculate their proposed reforms could speed delivery of wind & solar power equal to the needs of 2.5 million homes, matching current demand from Manchester and Birmingham combined. Lower bills and less reliance on polluting fossil fuels would result, the company says.
The company bases its view on experience from the 13 countries where it operates. Valued at £ 6 billion, its 3GW portfolio of generation assets stretch from continental Europe to Australia and the US.
Zoisa North-Bond, head of Octopus Energy’s generation division 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”
“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.”
Read Octopus’ blueprint here.