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Government told to support EU plans for renewables priority grid access

The Government was today told to back proposals in the EU's renewables directive that will give all green energy schemes priority access to the National Grid.

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), which claims that 9.3GW of wind power projects are currently waiting to be connected to the grid, called on the Government to support a clause the EU draft directive which reads: "Member states shall also provide for priority access to the grid system of electricity produced from renewable energy sources."

According to reports in the Guardian yesterday, UK officials want to protect traditional energy suppliers by changing the wording in the clause from "shall" to "may", therefore giving the UK the ability to opt out.

"The wind industry has long called for a system of 'connect & manage', where clean power from renewable generators, such as wind farms, can get access within time it takes to get planning consent," said Nic Rigby, head of BWEA Grid Strategy Group and head of strategy at npower renewables.

"The EU Directive's priority access provision is mainly designed for the continental market, which is structured differently from the UK's. However, unless we get a robust and genuine connect and manage system here in the UK, we will need strong EU legislation to guarantee that the grid is opened up and renewables are not left at the back of the queue."

Rigby added that the directive could have long lasting implications on the take up of renewables in the UK and reaching climate change targets.

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