Solar Energy UK has welcomed the Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee’s demand for shorter waiting times to connect solar and battery projects to the grid. The committee laid out recommendations on how the UK government can achieve its ambition to install 70GW of solar generating capacity by 2035, calling for better collaboration to address grid constraints and access to capital for households. Committee chair Philip Dunne warned that if action were not taken “with some urgency, there is likely to be a very considerable shortfall” on the government’s target. “There is potential for solar energy to have a bright future in the UK, but a dark cloud of delays for the industry hinders the ability to meet its full potential,” he added.
Solar Energy UK warned that waiting times for large solar projects’ connection to the electricity grid, both on roofs and ground, can often stretch well into the 2030s. According to the committee, this is due to historical underinvestment, the way connection applications are managed, “unresponsive” distribution network operators and “a regulatory failure with Ofgem failing to prioritise net zero”. MPs are seeking urgent short-term solutions to these problems. Their demands include a new mission statement for Ofgem requiring grid operators to speed up investment. Solar Energy UK chief executive Chris Hewett stated: “It is grossly unacceptable that solar projects with planning consent and with finance ready to go can told to wait more than a decade simply to connect to the grid. The situation is causing billions of pounds of economic damage to the UK.”
Credits: renews.biz [Image: Pixabay]