Regen has released a new report calling for the UK Government and Ofgem to reform grid investment processes to ensure the grid is net zero ready.
According to Regen, network companies must invest between £100-£140 billion in the grid up until 2050 to ensure it is net-zero ready.
To enable and incentivise this investment reform Regen called for Ofgem and the UK Government to ensure investment is provided ahead of need rather than in a reactive manner.
In its Building an Electricity Network for Net Zero initiatives report – commissioned by MCS – the independent centre of energy expertise evaluated existing government alongside those provided by Ofgem and network operators to develop ease capacity.
From its analysis, Regen called Ofgem’s decision to cut the budget for grid investment proposed by network operators by 17% a “gamble”. To ensure that the grid receives the investment it needs Regen warns that the regulator must ensure that networks can invest in capacity.
The reform also called for greater clarity for planning policy and the establishment of community benefits for areas local to energy infrastructure projects.
“We are in a race to develop renewable power and electricity storage to meet our net zero goals and tackle high bills caused by the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, but delayed investment in the electricity network is leading to clean energy projects not getting a connection date for 15 years,” said author of the report, Frank Hodgson at Regen.
“Recent commitments to drive forward progress from the government and the regulator are encouraging but the priority now is moving from action plans to delivering reform and investment at pace. This report sets out the scale of the challenge to upgrade our electricity networks, the initiatives underway and the key priorities to ensure network infrastructure is not a barrier to net zero.”
Current± explored the grid connection conundrum in its latest miniseries, the first episode of which can be found here.