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UK electricity grid holds back renewable energy

Staff writer |
Britain's electricity grid is stopping renewable energy projects connecting to the system, the solar power industry's trade body has warned.

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Parts of the grid are closed to new connections and further shutdowns are likely, the Solar Trade Association (STA) said. The lack of capacity is at the 14 private sector distribution network operators (DNOs) which carry electricity from the main grid to commercial and domestic users.

Western Power Distribution has closed the grid to new large renewable projects in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset for up to six years. Large parts of eastern and south-east England barely have any capacity, maps from UK Power Networks, the DNO for these regions, show.

Under EU targets, the UK must produce 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. It is about halfway there because the target includes transport and heating, as well as electricity generation.

Leonie Greene, the head of external affairs at the STA, said the grid had lacked investment for many years because of a lack of action by the government and Ofgem, the energy regulator.

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