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Net Zero Faces Years Of Delay As Energy Companies Demand £Billions

The Times

Energy network upgrades to help Britain meet its net zero emissions target face “years of delays” because of flawed Ofgem proposals, SSE has warned.

The FTSE 100 group and other network companies are lobbying the regulator to rethink price controls proposed last month that they claim will jeopardise decarbonisation.

SSE believes the plans could delay crucial upgrades to Britain’s electricity transmission network, leaving it unable to cope with power from new offshore wind farms. Wind farms could have to be delayed from connecting to the grid, or paid not to operate.

It said Ofgem’s plans were “risking years of delays to connections and the critical investments required to alleviate current and future constraints”.

Network companies’ revenues come from levies on energy bills. Their investments and how much they charge consumers are regulated through price controls.

Ofgem has been under pressure to get tough on the companies after it was accused of allowing excess profits in this price control. Its proposals will halve their returns from 2021 and make them come back to argue for billions of pounds of work where it says it’s unclear whether or when the spending is needed.

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