The rules governing how new energy sources are connected to the National Grid are to be changed to make the process easier, the Government has announced.
The previous “first come first served” approach has left about 200 energy projects waiting to be connected, standing useless for years after they were supposed to be creating power. There is potentially 60 gigwatts (GW) of inaccessible energy tied up in these projects, with 17 GW coming from renewable sources like windfarms.
Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband said new projects should be able to get out of the “queue”, and that renewable energy in particular should benefit from the changes.
Miliband said: “Access to the electricity grid has been one of the key barriers to the generation of renewable energy in this country. We are determined to resolve this issue. That is why we took powers to do so in the Energy Act and today we are setting out our proposals.”
Before the Government intervened, the industry suggested reforms, and regulator Ofgem decided whether to approve or reject them.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change said it will spend the next three months consulting on three options for the new system.