9 October, 2023
The UK Labour Party intends to launch a "super-tender to procure a grid supply chain that Britain needs", if elected to power.
The action will be issued through GB Energy, Labour’s new publicly-owned energy company, to work in coordinating the transmission operators.
Labour will also open up new grid construction to competitive tendering, with GB Energy looking to bid into that competition to build or co-build that new grid where necessary.
Labour said the move will ensure the UK is "at the front of a global queue, that we cut costs for billpayers, and that we provide a clear demand signal to manufacturers to build up their supply chains here in Britain, creating jobs."
It added the plan will also end the "farcical situation in which taxpayers have often had to pay up to a staggering £62m per day (ONS) to renewable developers simply to turn off their energy generation, because the grid cannot deal with the capacity".
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves said: "Talk to any business and they will tell you that the queue for grid connections is growing out of control, with more than £200bn worth of privately-funded projects now stuck.
"Labour will turbocharge our growth, get Britain building and unlock private sector investment by speeding up the grid.
"This will help cut family energy bills, allow businesses to invest and strengthen our energy security from foreign dictators."
Reeves added that Labour would also invest in expanding local authorities’ planning capacity, to speed up decisions.
Shadow Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Ed Miliband MP added: "Labour’s energy policy will take back control of our energy system to deliver clean power and energy independence for Britain.
"With GB Energy, our publicly owned energy company, we will deliver the grid we need to slash bills for every family and business."
Sam Richards, founder and campaign director for pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade, responded to the planning proposals saying: "There is no path to energy security or economic growth, and the jobs that come with it, that doesn't involve fixing our broken planning system.
"It is not right that offshore wind projects vital for energy security should have to produce 10,000+ page environmental impact assessments that take years to complete, do nothing to protect nature and then face constant challenges in the courts."
“We welcome any proposals that will unblock our outdated planning system so that Britain can create jobs and growth by building the infrastructure our country desperately needs.
"But the devil will be in the detail and we will continue to hold Labour to account to deliver the planning reform we need if they form the next government.”