The UK is cutting red tape to build an electricity grid that runs on wind, not gas | Daily News Byte

The UK is cutting red tape to build an electricity grid that runs on wind, not gas

 | Daily News Byte

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(Bloomberg) — Britain will reduce regulations for new electricity grids to speed up the construction of infrastructure vital to getting more of the country’s electricity from wind.

The Office for Gas and Electricity Markets — known as Ofgem — announced a series of policy changes on Thursday that will help boost the construction of £20 billion of onshore electricity transmission as well as new offshore connections. The moves are intended to help the country meet its goal of more than tripling its offshore wind capacity to 50 gigawatts by the end of the decade.

The target was part of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Energy Security Strategy released in April after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Although there are already enough offshore wind projects in planning that could meet that goal, the country’s current energy grid is insufficient to move electricity from remote generation points to population centers where it is needed.

“The Government’s Energy Security Strategy has set out a number of steps to accelerate our transition away from reliance on expensive and environmentally damaging fossil fuels,” Ofgem wrote in the report. “The invasion of Ukraine highlights that this transition is now not just a matter of meeting the UK’s Net Zero targets, but also highlights the need to reduce our reliance on gas from a security of supply perspective.”

To enable the 50 gigawatt target by 2030, Ofgem will create what it calls an “Accelerated Strategic Investment in Transmission” regulatory framework to help fund major new infrastructure projects. The roughly £20bn investment under the framework will benefit from reduced regulation to speed up delivery.

At the same time, the energy regulator has also expanded its offshore infrastructure framework. Ofgem aims to expand rules on financing new offshore connections to help deliver more capacity in the coming years. These moves will help companies like SSE Plc to invest in such infrastructure.

©2022 Bloomberg LP

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