UK to implement Winser report recommendations

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed in the Autumn Statement on November 22 that all 43 recommendations made by last summer’s Winser Review to connect more renewables to the National Grid would be accepted in full.

This was accompanied by the publication of a Connections Action Plan in conjunction with Ofgem which, together with the review, is intended to release 100GW of capacity from the current queue and cut average connection delays from five years to six months.

Other measures announced by Hunt included the tax investment allowance known as Full Expensing to be made permanent. Previous deadlines had prevented some renewable energy projects from benefitting from the relief due to longer build-out times.

He also said that those living near to electricity infrastructure will receive up to £10,000 off their bills in a further bid to speed up the rollout of new networks.

John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, said: “Networks are critical to connect cleaner, more affordable, home-grown energy to Britain’s homes and businesses, and we welcome the bold plans set out by government today.

“A spatial energy plan and accelerated planning consent will bring clarity, authority and urgency to what needs to be built and where, while new community benefit proposals will ensure local people remain at the heart of the energy transition.

“The connections action plan will deliver fundamental reforms needed to enable us to plug clean energy projects in faster, and build on the progress already being made.

“The intent is clear and welcome; now these plans must be implemented at pace to capture the economic opportunity of the energy transition and keep Britain on target to achieve its climate goals.”

The REA (Renewable Energy Association) has welcomed measures announced by the UK Government to speed up the planning system and improve grid connections.

REA Director of Policy Frank Gordon said: “The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement revealed some welcome and long needed measures to speed up grid connectivity, while confirmation of permanent tax allowances for businesses investing in plant and machinery, should also help incentivise companies to deploy renewable and clean technologies to help them decarbonise.”

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