Energy networks eye early investment in grid for green tomorrow

Britain’s energy networks have joined forces with Ofgem in a bid to unlock up to £300mn investment in the technologies of tomorrow to deliver a green recovery.

On 8 February, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) launched a six-week call for evidence for local authorities, developers and other parties to make the case as to why extra capacity in their locality should be selected for investment. Locations where network investment can be made quickly to support shovel-ready developments that underpin the net zero transition and line up with government targets, namely the 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, will be prioritised for backing.

The funding is to be sourced from the existing allowances of network companies, where efficiencies have been delivered from the RIIO-ED1 price control period, alongside new funds. The most efficient projects, which could include flexibility, whole-systems solutions and least regrets expenditure, are likely to be supported.

Evidence gathered over the next six weeks will be used to determined which of the distribution network operator sites meet a set of core criteria best. These are utilisation, meaning how much of the capacity can be used in the near-term, deliverability; such as how quickly infrastructure and solutions can be completed; and value for money, including the wider societal benefits that can be achieved.

The call for evidence will close at 5PM on 19 March, with sites approved for investment by Ofgem announced in early May ahead of planning and construction getting underway.