‘UK’s energy security at risk from ‘phantom’ power projects’

The UK’s energy security is at risk due to a backlog of ‘phantom’ power projects in the queue for connecting to the national grid, according to a Centrica report

Big Zero Report 2023

The existence of phantom power projects could potentially pose a risk to the UK’s energy security.

That’s according to a recent independent report, commissioned by Centrica, which suggests the queue for Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) is significantly oversubscribed, at times exceeding its intended capacity by up to four times.

The study estimates that the current queue comprises 371GW of projects, which presents an opportunity to enhance the UK’s energy security.

Approximately 114GW of these projects have set their connection dates before 2029.

However, around 62GW of these projects are still in the scoping phase, with some developers yet to secure land rights or apply for necessary planning consents.

Chris O’Shea, Centrica Group Chief Executive, said: “In recent years energy security has rightly moved up the agenda as countries look to secure supplies and drive the transition to net zero.

“That’s why it defies belief that the queue for new, green energy connections is blocked by ‘phantom’ power projects. Not only do these ‘developers’ not have the money to develop, but many also don’t even have planning permission or land rights – they’re gambling that holding a space in the queue will make them rich.

“The system was created for a different time, when a small number of large projects were connected each year. Our current approach is not fit for purpose and needs urgent reform.”

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