Growth Plan could streamline ‘glacial’ planning and environmental assessments, but grid fails to get a mention
PA Consulting’s Alon Carmel, energy transition expert, comments on Kwasi Kwarteng’s Growth Plan for the UK economy and its implications for offshore wind in an article by David Foxwell in Offshore Wind Journal.
Commenting on the plan, Alon said: “there is much in the Growth Plan to be pleased about, but was also concerned by the dearth of attention to the grid. “It is great news for developers of offshore windfarms that the Government is going to tackle the bottlenecks in the planning system – though what we need now is the detail,”
Adding: “We also need greater clarity on the required expansion and strengthening of the grid, as well as the specific business and regulatory models for multipurpose interconnectors and other ways of co-ordinating grid connection.”
Alon goes on to explain: “The investment zones that are also part of the Growth Plan will boost supply chains in a way that can help make the target of 50 GW by 2030 a reality. But, in contrast to the recent US stimulus package – the Inflation Reduction Act – there is little about how to support the hydrogen economy, even though offshore wind and hydrogen is a very promising area.”
He concludes: “The overall impact on investment in offshore wind projects and the supply chain will depend on the macroeconomic risks as well,” explaining “For example, will the tax proposals and increased borrowing lead to higher inflation and interest rates, which would disproportionally affect investors in major capital projects?”