Labour has set out its proposals for how it plans to deliver clean energy infrastructure at its annual conference this week.
Describing building a clean energy grid as “essential” to deliver energy independence and economic growth, it said the queue for grid connections was “growing out of control”, with more than £200bn worth of privately-funded projects now stuck.
As a result, new grid connection dates are now being offered for 15 years’ time, in the late 2030s. Labour claimed it will remove barriers to facilitate the “largest upgrade to national transmission infrastructure in a generation” and bring cheaper, cleaner power, energy security, and jobs to every corner of the country.
It states the plan will contribute plan to cutting £93bn from UK energy bills by 2030. British businesses such as new electric car battery factories and other forms of energy intensive industries will “benefit significantly”, the party claimed.
The plan will put GB Energy, Labour’s new publicly-owned energy company, to work in coordinating the transmission operators to launch a “super-tender” which will procure the grid supply chain that Britain needs.
Labour said it would be opening up new grid construction to competitive tendering, with GB Energy looking to bid into that competition to build or co-build that new grid where necessary.
Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Talk to any business and they will tell you that the queue for grid connections is growing out of control, with more than £200bn worth of privately-funded projects now stuck.
“This will help cut family energy bills, allow businesses to invest and strengthen our energy security from foreign dictators.”
Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary, said: “With GB Energy, our publicly owned energy company, we will deliver the grid we need to slash bills for every family and business.”
A spokesperson for ENA, which represents the UK’s energy networks, welcomed the initiative but urged caution.
The spokesperson said: “We welcome any initiative which will help us speed up grid connections. The network operators are already pressing ahead with this and tackling the challenge head on, through initiatives working alongside Ofgem and the system operator.
“However, current planning rules mean it can takes years to provide consent to vital new infrastructure projects – it can take more than 10 years to build a new transmission line, 7 of which are for planning for example – so we are particularly keen on any initiative which will speed up the consenting process.”
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