In response to today's Autumn Statement, Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of the Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK's energy network operators said:
“Today’s announcements will hearten everyone working hard to enable net zero. We need to use every tool in the box to accelerate grid connections and ensure the country can deliver the critical infrastructure it needs as quickly as possible.
“It’s great to see the government acting on the need for planning reform, including the publication of revised energy National Policy Statements. We also welcome the intent to ensure there are direct benefits for the communities hosting critical energy infrastructure and the steps set out in the government’s Connections Action Plan.
“Steps taken by the electricity network operators, Ofgem and ESO (the system operator) have already helped to ensure nearly 50GW of capacity is being made available to customers in 2023. That’s almost the equivalent of the UK’s peak electricity demand. The steps announced today will help increase that even further over the coming months and years.
“We look forward to working with the Secretary of State and Minister for Nuclear and Networks to enable net zero, unlock grid capacity and boost UK investment.”
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Notes to editor
Uptake of the 50GW of capacity will depend on the ability of the market to progress those projects, driven by individual project business cases and timelines and how much of the queue are unique viable projects.
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.