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Urgent call for UK government to accelerate grid infrastructure and boost green jobs

  • Publish Date: Posted 22 days ago
  • Author: Steve Walia

​A recent report by the Mission Zero Coalition, led by former energy minister Chris Skidmore, is urging the next UK government to speed up the construction of new infrastructure in order to connect various renewable energy projects to the grid. The report outlines detailed recommendations to ensure the UK remains on track to meet its climate targets.

 

The report, "At a Crossroads - Pathway to a Net Zero Future," emphasises the requirement to construct 5 times more electrical infrastructure over the next 5 years than it has managed over the past three decades. It calls for an overhaul of the planning consent process to make it more efficient and democratic, promoting high-quality applications and greater community engagement. Establishing local civic assemblies is suggested as a means to address community concerns about the impact of renewable projects.

 

A strategic approach to building the electricity system is deemed essential to reduce constraints and balance supply and demand at minimal cost to consumers. The report advocates for policies that incentivise the integration of solar and wind farms with battery storage, which would help manage the variability of renewable energy sources.

 

To meet the 2050 net zero target, the report stresses the necessity of a skilled workforce, with more than 400,000 workers needed in areas such as electrical engineering and offshore wind manufacturing. It highlights the importance of digital technology and data sharing to integrate more renewable power and improve grid reliability. It advises against radical energy market reforms, favouring a gradual approach to maintain investor confidence.

 

The Mission Zero Coalition's recommendations come after extensive consultations with various stakeholders in the energy sector. The report provides a comprehensive roadmap for the next government, with immediate actions needed to keep the country's net zero ambitions on course.