Wind industry leaders gathered at the recent British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) conference to urge the government to improve access to the National Grid so that £50bn private investment can be pumped into it.
Researchers at BWEA estimate that the grid’s capacity will need to grow from 75GW to 120GW in order to accommodate the new decentralised energy sources. Private investors are proposing a 10-year infrastructure plan that will improve future connections.
However, Ofgem’s procedure is preventing much-needed infrastructure investment in the network.
Under the current system, the cost of each new connection is underwritten by the energy company that wants access to the grid. This means that investment is often only carried out on an ad-hoc basis.
Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, and Conservative shadow energy minister, Charles Hendry, were among the key figures who addressed the conference and called on the government to improve regulatory procedures that will speed up investment in grid connection for renewables.
According to energy minister, Mike O’Brien, the government is considering bringing forward energy projects to stimulate the economy.