Sam Richards responds to the Electricity Networks Commissioner’s report on pylons

Commenting on the Electricity Networks Commissioner’s report into the time it takes for more power lines to be built, Sam Richards, founder and campaign director of pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade, said:

“The number one issue holding back clean energy projects such and offshore wind, new nuclear and utility scale solar farms is grid connections.

“Ministers may not be rushing to don high-vis jackets in order to see a new high voltage cable being installed or a new pylon being built, but if we can’t move electricity around the country other clean energy infrastructure will struggle. Meaning less investment, less growth and fewer jobs created. 

“The outdated way the grid operates is holding Britain back. At the moment, wind farms are paid to turn off because the grid is unable to transport the power from where it is generated to where most households are. This resulted in wind farms being paid £507m in 2021 and an extra two million tonnes of CO2 being emitted. To get maximum benefit out of wind energy bigger and better grid connections are needed.

“One developer who was looking to build a battery storage projects was quoted 2036 at the earliest for a grid connection – a 13 year delay. We simply cannot deliver a net zero grid with 20th century thinking.

“The reality is we need to build more grid connections over next seven years than we have built over the last thirty years and anything to help achieve this is welcome news, but going from 14 years to seven is not good enough.”