Report reveals how to speed up UK green grid connection


Queue-jumping, sunset clauses and a data-driven can-do attitude are simple ways to connect renewables to the grid faster, a new report by Octopus Energy’s generation arm outlines.

According to the report – ‘End the Gridlock’ – increasing competition in the connection process and greater collaboration between developers are the other two areas that could help unleash Britain’s colossal green energy potential.

Implementing this five-point-plan could unlock new wind and solar farms with clean electricity for around 2.5 million homes – covering the electricity needs for households in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds combined every year.

The UK has one of the longest power grid connection queues in Europe, with over 200 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar projects currently waiting to get connected. Octopus said that more urgency is needed to tackle this issue, as highlighted by recent reports that show how the UK is jeopardising fossil-free targets due to slow grid connection issues.

Connecting more wind and solar farms will deliver homegrown cheaper energy to British homes and drive down energy costs, as renewable energy like wind and solar continue to be the cheapest sources of energy with prices plummeting in the last decade.

The recommendations from the new report are drawn from Octopus’ own renewables development experience and from investments from the funds it manages.

The five-point-plan to speed up grid connection times for renewable projects include proactive queue jumping to connect renewable projects that are further along; enforce sunset clause on grid offers so old fossil fuels ones don’t take up space; a more transparent can-do attitude with data and tech driving it, creating ‘zones’ ripe for developing renewables quickly; increase competition in the grid connection process; enable collaboration between developers to share and reduce connection costs.

“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,” Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, said. “There is no time to waste in an energy crisis – we need to end the gridlock now.

“The single biggest blocker to renewables is waiting to connect to the grid, so we have 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.”

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