Daily Mirror by Ben Glaze
Slashing red tape is essential to speed-up new energy plants and wean Britain off imported power, a new report says.
Campaign group Britain Remade said cutting planning bureaucracy would accelerate green energy projects, “unlock billions in investment and create tens of thousands of jobs in Britain’s former industrial heartlands in the North and the Midlands”.
Outlining the pace of development needed, its Powerbook report says: “To be energy secure by 2030 Britain will need to unlock an additional 70GW of renewable power in less than seven years on top of the 40GW already available.
“Grid buildout will also need to be sped up by at least three years, and two small modular reactors will have to be built and generating clean power by the end of the decade.”
The group says increasing the amount of green power generated in the UK will ease Britain’s reliance on foreign imports of gas and electricity - as well as cutting customers’ bills.
Britain Remade founder Sam Richards said there was “huge support for rolling out new sources of clean energy as fast as possible in order to bring energy bills down”.
“Our Powerbook report is a playbook for anyone who wants to see Britain become energy secure and powered by abundant cheap clean energy by 2030,” he added.
“We need to end the ban on onshore wind, the cheapest form of energy, and we need to slash the time it takes to get spades in the ground.
“Britain is the country that gave birth to the Industrial Revolution, split the atom and built the world’s first commercial nuclear power station - there is no reason why we cannot be a clean energy superpower.”
Welcoming the study, Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Secretary Ed Miliband said: “This is exactly the kind of ambition we need to drive towards clean power by 2030.
“It can lower bills, make us more energy secure, create jobs and once again show global climate leadership.
“I urge all those serious about the green transition to show the scale of vision contained in this document.
“I look forward to building the broadest coalition to make it happen."
The report will be unveiled on Monday at Octopus Energy’s headquarters in London.
The power provider’s chief executive Greg Jackson said: “Clean, green energy is the biggest opportunity for economies and businesses since the internet.
“But there are two giant obstacles stopping a great swathe of British renewables being built - planning and grid connections.
“Readily-available investment is impossible to deploy in the UK because the grid system was just not built for a renewable revolution.
“We need to increase the pace of development 20-fold, and allow faster grid connection and better community buy-in for onshore wind and solar. “