Reform planning rules to boost clean energy, National Grid boss urges

The boss of Nationwide Grid has referred to as for an overhaul of UK planning guidelines so as to velocity up the shift in the direction of cleaner vitality.

John Pettigrew, chief govt of the FTSE 100 networks proprietor, mentioned the transition away from fossil fuels was at a “pivotal” second and reform was wanted to take away obstacles to new tasks similar to wind generators, photo voltaic vegetation and batteries.

“The dimensions of the transformation that’s wanted is one thing that’s not been seen for generations,” he added.

“And if we get it proper, the prize is large, each when it comes to safety provide, but in addition decrease prices for vitality, and likewise the creation of jobs.”

Nationwide Grid has set out 5 areas it believes should be reformed to get tasks off the bottom extra rapidly, together with planning, regulation and advantages for communities dwelling close by.

“On planning, the present consenting course of for main vitality tasks must be shortened,” Pettigrew mentioned. “On regulation, we have to have the power to do funding in anticipation of want.”

Nationwide Grid and different community house owners are beneath stress over years-long waits typically confronted by new tasks wanting to hook up with the electrical energy grid amid issues that is slowing the shift in the direction of cleaner vitality.

The UK has a legally binding goal to chop carbon emissions to internet zero by 2050, whereas the federal government desires to decarbonise electrical energy provides by 2035.

Ofgem, the vitality regulator, this week highlighted estimates {that a} quarter of purposes for grid connections accepted over the previous 12 months have been supplied dates after 2030.

Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief govt, mentioned the present regime to attach tasks was not “match for goal” and promised a assessment. It comes on high of labor being carried out by Nick Winser, the federal government’s electrical energy community commissioner, to chop the time it takes to put new electrical energy cables.

Nationwide Grid on Thursday reported a 15 per cent rise in full-year underlying working income to £4.6bn, barely forward of analysts’ expectations, helped by a powerful efficiency in its US enterprise.

The corporate owns electrical energy and fuel networks within the US and the UK and provides vitality to households within the US.

In January it offered a 60 per cent stake within the UK’s fuel transmission community to a consortium led by Australian financial institution Macquarie, which has an choice to purchase the remaining 40 per cent by the top of July.

The sale was a part of a better deal with electrical energy networks for Nationwide Grid within the UK, given expectations over the rise of electrical automobiles, warmth pumps and wind generators.

Throughout 2022 it invested £7.7bn, which Nationwide Grid mentioned was 8 per cent increased than the earlier yr, and a document.

Of that, about £2.6bn went into its UK enterprise and £4.1bn into the US, with many of the the rest going to its Nationwide Grid Ventures arm.

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