End the gridlock: Octopus Energy report reveals how to speed up green grid connection
- Five steps outlined to speed up connection of new wind and solar farms
- 2.5m homes could be powered a year by green projects unlocked by findings
- Move would bring down bills and reduce reliance on polluting fossil fuels
- Comes as UK has one of Europe’s biggest grid connection queues at 200 GW+
London, 3rd May 2023 - Queue-jumping, sunset clauses and a data-driven can-do attitude are simple ways to connect renewables to the grid faster, a new report by Octopus Energy’s generation arm outlines.
Increasing competition in the connection process and greater collaboration between developers are the other two areas that will help unleash Britain’s colossal green energy potential.
Implementing this five-point-plan could unlock new wind and solar farms with clean electricity for around 2.5 million homes - covering the electricity needs for households in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds combined every year.
The report by Octopus’ generation arm - who manage £6bn of renewable and energy transition projects - is much needed. The UK has one of the longest power grid connection queues in Europe, with over 200 GW of wind and solar projects currently waiting to get connected*.
More urgency is needed to tackle this, as highlighted by a recent Government committee report showing how the UK is jeopardising fossil-free targets due to slow grid connection issues**.
Connecting more wind and solar farms will deliver homegrown cheaper energy to British homes and drive down energy costs, as renewable energy like wind and solar continue to be the cheapest sources of energy with prices plummeting in the last decade***.
The recommendations from the new report, End the gridlock, are drawn from Octopus’ own renewables development experience and from investments from the funds it manages.
Five-point-plan to speed up grid connection times for renewable projects:
- Proactive queue jumping to connect renewable projects that are further along
- Enforce sunset clause on grid offers so old fossil fuels ones don’t take up space
- A more transparent can-do attitude with data and tech driving it, creating ‘zones’ ripe for developing renewables quickly
- Increase competition in the grid connection process
- Enable collaboration between developers to share and reduce connection costs
Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, said: “To accelerate Britain’s colossal renewable energy opportunity and drive down energy bills fast, we need to connect cheap green projects to the grid quicker. There’s no time to waste in an energy crisis - we need to end the gridlock now.
“The single biggest blocker to renewables is waiting to connect to the grid, so we’ve identified quick wins that can genuinely make a difference today and connect wind and solar farms at pace. If we act fast, we can reduce reliance on expensive, polluting fossil fuels, and jump-start a cheaper, greener energy future for British homes and businesses.”
The full End the Gridlock report can be found at this link.
Notes to editors:
For more information about wider reforms suggested for the grid, please see Octopus Energy Group’s paper on how the grid system needs to change, covering flexibility, and more - downloadable at this link.
*Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)
** House of Commons BEIS committee report, Decarbonisation of the power sector, 28 April 2023
***Lazard data shows since 2009, the costs of renewables have come down massively (-63% for onshore wind and -83% for solar).
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About Octopus Energy Generation
Octopus Energy Generation is driving the renewable energy agenda and building green power for the future. This means reshaping the market by leading the transition to a cleaner, greener future through renewable projects connected more deeply to customers and businesses.
As one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, its fund management specialist team launched in 2010 with a mission to accelerate the transition to a future powered by renewable energy. This team manages over 3 GW of renewable energy assets like wind and solar farms across 13 countries, worth nearly £6bn. These renewable projects generate enough green energy to power 2 million homes every year, and is the equivalent of taking over 1 million petrol cars off the road. The business also launched the Fan Club in the UK 2021, the world's first local energy tariff that provides cheaper, greener energy to customers living near local wind turbines when the wind blows, with a discount of up to 50%. Thousands of people have got in touch asking for the Fan Club in their community.
For more information, check out our website.
About Octopus Energy Group
Octopus Energy Group is a global energy tech pioneer, launched in 2016 to use technology to unlock a customer focused and affordable green energy revolution. With operations in 14 countries, Octopus Energy Group has a truly global reach.
Octopus’s domestic energy arm already serves 5.3 million customers globally with cheaper greener power, through Octopus Energy, Bulb, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power and Co-op Energy. Octopus Electric Vehicles is helping make clean transport cheaper and easier, and Octopus Energy Services is bringing smart products to thousands of homes. Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, managing a nearly £6 billion portfolio of renewable energy assets across the globe.
All of these are made possible by Octopus’s tech arm, Kraken Technologies, which offers a proprietary, in-house platform based on advanced data and machine learning capabilities, Kraken automates much of the energy supply chain to allow outstanding service and efficiency as the world transitions to a decentralised, decarbonised energy system. This technology has been licensed to support 30 million customer accounts worldwide, through deals with EDF Energy, Good Energy, E.ON energy and Origin Energy.
In December 2021, Octopus Energy Group was valued at approximately $5 billion following investments from Generation Investment Management and Canada Pensions Plan Investments Board. Both investors back businesses that drive sustainability, promote green energy and tackle climate change. These were the company’s third and fourth major investments since launching to the market.
For more information, check out our website.
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