Access to electricity network under review

A review of access to the electricity network aimed at encouraging the growth of renewables has been launched by the Business Department (DBERR) and Ofgem.

Announced in the energy White Paper in May (ENDS Report 389, pp 40-42 ), it will look at how to improve arrangements for expanding and operating the grid.

The difficulty of getting new grid connections means that renewables are expected to account for just 15% of the UK’s electricity supply in 2020 – far below the government’s 20% target.

A key issue for the review is whether renewables could be boosted by introducing grid capacity “sharing” that allows renewables and power stations to use the same grid connection at different times. It will also look at whether changing the way grid connections are allocated – for example, by auctioning them off – could help.

The DBERR and Ofgem will call for evidence shortly. The review is expected to run until May 2008 with an interim report in December.