UK on course to meet renewable 2020 targets, says National Grid

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 17 Nov 2010 12:22, Last updated: 2010-11-17
UK will generate enough renewable energy to power 20 million homes

A new National Grid report reveals that 31,950 MW of existing and proposed renewable generation have agreements in place to connect to the high voltage transmission system by 2020, placing the UK on track to meet 2020 renewable targets.

National Grid analysis identifies that about 29,000 MW of renewable transmission connected generation capacity is needed to meet the UK government’s target of 15 per cent of energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.

According to the National Grid’s Transmission Networks Quarterly Connections Update, published this week, it shows the current transmission connected renewable generation is 4,950 MW.

It adds that proposed renewables projects with connection agreements up to 2020 as at 26 October 2010 was 27,000 MW, delivering a UK renewable total of 31,950 MW.

The previous Quarterly Update, published on 30 July, showed 25,890 MW of existing and proposed transmission connected renewable generation.

Figures have been boosted by both a steady increase in proposed projects signing connection agreements and earlier connection dates achieved through reform of industry rules. Introduction of the new approach in 2009, known as “Connect and Manage”, resulted in 15,000 MW of generation projects being offered earlier grid connection dates, in some cases up to nine years earlier.

But National Grid has warned that this is only a step in the right direction. For proposed projects to become reality, there must be energy market reform to create the right conditions for financial investment; and reform of the planning system must be completed to ensure that infrastructure build – both generation and the associated transmission connections – is undertaken with proper public consultation, but 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 the timely planning consents and the right market frameworks 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.

“There is no room for complacency, and there is no time for delay. Government, the regulator Ofgem and industry will have work together like never before to see this happen.”

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