UK poised to meet renewable energy targets

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A new report published by the National Grid shows that 31,950MW of existing and proposed renewable generation could be connected to the high-voltage energy transmission system by 2020, placing the UK on track to meet 2020 renewable targets.

The report states that about 29,000MW of renewable power will be required if the UK government is to meet its target of generating 15 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

National Grid’s Transmission Networks Quarterly Connections Update, published this week, shows that 4,950MW of power is currently being generated by renewable resources, a figure that will rise to 31,950MW if 27,000MW worth of proposed additional renewable power sources are connected to the grid by 2020.

But National Grid has warned that this is only a step in the right direction. For the proposed projects to become reality, it says there must be a reform of the planning system to ensure that renewable power systems and their associated transmission connections are not delayed with unnecessarily slow planning decisions. Currently, only 20 per cent of the proposed renewable projects with connection agreements have planning permission.

Commenting on the news, National Grid executive director Nick Winser said: ’This is a great step forward, but we must not underestimate how big a challenge it will be to deliver. We need timely planning consents to make sure enough of these proposed projects get built. Inevitably some will not go ahead as currently planned and so we will continue to work hard with all developers of renewable sources to help bring more projects forward.’