50GW of capacity – almost the equivalent of the UK’s peak electricity demand – has been made available to generators and battery storage providers to connect to Great Britain’s electricity grid substantially earlier than had measures taken by the sector not been implemented.
This has been made possible due to industry actions which are delivering legal and technical changes. These include ESO's queue management plan, Ofgem’s new rules to speed up grid connections and ENA’s three-point connections plan announced earlier this year.
The announcement comes ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement which the industry hopes will include measures to accelerate grid connections further. In particular, network operators want to see changes to the planning and consenting system to permit crucial energy infrastructure to be built faster.
Great Britain’s power networks are facing a significant increase in connection requests, as renewable generators and battery storage companies work to deliver the governments’ net zero obligations. The UK government has set a legally binding target of 2050 for the country to reach net zero, while the Scottish Government has set 2045 as the target for Scotland.
Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK’s electricity network operators said:
“Today’s figures show the results of the huge efforts the sector is making, together with government and Ofgem, to remove the barriers to connect to the grid faster. However, this is only the beginning and it’s essential the government continues to work to make it easier for vital energy infrastructure to be built. Technical and legal changes will get us so far, but more infrastructure is going to be needed if we are to meet the UK and Scottish governments’ respective net zero targets.”
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About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 40,000 people in Great Britain.