Biggest barriers facing renewable energy projects

Grid connection and planning issues are two of the biggest problems facing poultry producers when it comes to installing renewable energy.

Speaking to Poultry World, Jonathan Scurlock, the NFU’s chief adviser for renewable energy, said grid connection “was a bit of a nightmare”, with many NFU members reporting problems.

Dr Scurlock said the NFU was in talks with the energy watchdog Ofgem to discuss how they could make grid connection a more streamlined and consistent process.

“We want the process to be transparent, timely and predictable, with connection costs and admin fees consistent nationwide.

“At the moment grid connection is a postcode lottery, with distributor network operators regions (DNOs) quoting very high fees.”

He said one solution could be having independent electrical engineers to challenge the high quotations some producers receive.

“An independent grid engineer can negotiate with the DNOs to get costs down,” he explained.

Dr Scurlock said planning remained an issue and was the cause of “unreasonable delays and excessive project development costs”.

But he added that permitted development rights, which came into force on April 6, had eased the burden on planning.

Under PDR, any commercial, small-scale generation, providing it meets certain conditions, is permitted without needing to apply for planning permission.

Get your renewables questions answered
If you have any questions regarding the installation of renewable energy you can put them to Dr Scurlock and our panel of experts on Monday, by joining our renewable energy debate.
All you have to do to take part is visit the FWi poultry channel at 6.30pm, where you will find a discussion box and you’ll be able to join in the conversation, live.
If you’re unable to make it on the day you can send your questions by visiting our renewables energy forum

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