Proactive investment and planning rule reform needed to strengthen energy network

Cornwall Insight’s response to the King’s Speech announcing the government’s intent to reform energy grid connections.

Tom Faulkner. Head of Assets & Infrastructure and Networks at Cornwall Insight:

“The government’s commitment to reforming energy grid connections is a crucial first step, but getting network reforms right is a complicated task. Ensuring capacity to tackle current challenges is necessary , however, building resilient and high-performing transmission and distribution networks also requires proactive investment, as we need to future-proof the system to support the UK as it transitions to a renewable-led future.

“While investment is crucial, planning rules are also denying the country of the efficient energy system it needs. Streamlining planning regulations to accelerate the construction of essential infrastructure like transmission lines and substations is an essential ingredient to making sure everybody’s energy needs are met now and into the future.

“Striking a balance between environmental protection and the urgent need to modernise our energy grid will be challenging, but we must remember that no environment will remain untouched by the impacts of a global climate crisis.

“We must also address the slow pace of grid connections and the growing backlog of projects awaiting approval. Too many important projects are being held up by lengthy queues. However, we urge caution, because there is a need to manage concerns and make sure developers and investors don’t see new projects enter the queue and leapfrog them under the new rules.”

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