Ex-National Grid Chief: Community Payouts Could Speed Up UK’s Net-Zero Goals
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Ex-National Grid Chief: Community Payouts Could Speed Up UK’s Net-Zero Goals

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He is calling for reforms to planning rules to fast-track new transmission infrastructure as a strategic asset and establishing community benefits, to ensure upgrades are “locally acceptable”.

This includes the introduction of lump sum payments for households near new lines and a community fund to support local activities.

The report calls for reforms to the queueing system for new projects and the rapid development of the Future Systems Operator to oversee the country’s electricity and gas systems, coordinate projects, and forecast supply and demand characteristics.

The government must “strike the right balance between over engineering the electricity network, to guard against multiple contingencies, at an unacceptable cost to consumers, and not providing enough capacity to meet all reasonable scenarios, leaving the system vulnerable in the face of multiple outages”, the report argued.

Grant Shapps said the report was a “comprehensive assessment of current and future space requirements” to make sure the country has enough electricity.

Kwasi Kwarteng, energy secretary, added: “As we align our entire energy system and decarbonisation ambitions with net zero, we must make sure we invest widely and equitably into vital electricity infrastructure across all of the four nations.

“This report will provide a blueprint for the delivery of new infrastructure in a way that brings much needed investment to local areas, while ensuring that we collaborate and plan our networks in a more joined-up way.”