Major plans to speed up connections and increase capacity on the electricity grid have been set out alongside £960 million investment in green industries.
The package of measures will bring forward investment by building network infrastructure faster and speeding up grid connections.
Launched by the Chancellor and Energy Security Secretary, government has published its response to Electricity Networks Commissioner, Nick Winser CBE, accepting his recommendations in all areas. These measures will halve the time it takes to build high-voltage power lines from 14 years to 7.
Building on this, the Connections Action Plan will cut the average delay time projects face to connect to the grid from 5 years to just 6 months. It will also see the end of the existing ‘first-come, first-served’ system, which had led to a long queue of projects to connect to the grid – holding back low-carbon investment.
Communities hosting new power infrastructure could benefit directly with lower electricity bills and money for projects in their local areas. They will have the power to decide how this is spent, for example on apprenticeships, energy efficiency measures, local parks or community energy generation. Properties closest to new transmission infrastructure will potentially receive up to £1,000 a year off electricity bills over 10 years.
The government has also committed £960 million for the Green Industries Growth Accelerator, which will accelerate advanced manufacturing capacity in key net zero sectors, including offshore wind, networks, carbon capture, usage and storage, hydrogen and nuclear.
As demand for renewables grows, with international competition across supply chains, the government is attempting to ensure the UK has the right conditions for further investment and growth.
The new package announced at the Autumn Statement is expected to bring forward £90 billion of investment over the next 10 years and will ensure the country’s infrastructure is fit for the green industries of the future.
See: Huge boost for UK green industries with £960 million government investment and major reform of power network - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)