The Future Oxfordshire Partnership has identified shared concerns across Oxfordshire that constraints in the development of the electricity grid have the potential to negatively impact upon the pace of delivery of net zero ambitions.

To achieve collective net zero ambitions while maintaining inward investment within the county, a sustainable, decarbonized energy system is required. However, grid constraints in both the transmission and distribution elements of the electricity network are resulting in delays to deliver renewable energy projects and decarbonization activity, which (including electric vehicle charger rollout and heat pump installation) whilst inhibiting inward investment within Oxfordshire.

Key Outputs

In June of 2023, the Future Oxfordshire Partnership responded to the government’s Environmental Audit Committee’s call for evidence on ‘The sustainable electrification of the UK economy’. In its response the Future Oxfordshire Partnership highlighted:

  • Concerns that it will not be possible to decarbonize the electricity grid in the timescales stated by National Government i.e., 2035, with significant grid connection delays preventing investment in the scaling up of renewables.
  • RIIO ED2 determinations (price control period covering the five-year period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2028) appear to largely confirm that there is minimal investment in grid infrastructure ahead of connection requests/agreements for the next 5 years, despite projections through Future Energy Scenario planning, and demands that future regulatory price control determinations must proactively enable anticipatory investment, informed by robust local data and insight, to support the transition to net zero.
  • Concerns regarding the unknown scale of ‘zombie projects’ within the system, locking up capacity unnecessarily, and preventing renewable schemes which are ready to go from coming online. The FOP argued that there should be a national directive calling for the review of projects which have been within the system over a specified period, to identify and remove them as appropriate and prevent unnecessary and costly infrastructure upgrades.
  • The importance of decentralized energy generation and distribution, including the development of mini grids, in supporting net zero ambitions, building on the learnings from Project LEO.
  • Any grid development and/or reinforcement activity must factor in an understanding of the impacts of varying temperature increases, to ensure appropriate adaptation measures can be made in support of a resilient energy system.

Current Status

The Future Oxfordshire Partnership continues to use its collective voice to advocate for improvements in energy planning to alleviate grid constraints and facilitate the rollout of net zero.

Further Information

Read the Future Oxfordshire Partnership's full response to the call for evidence

Related News

Future Oxfordshire Partnership Advocates for Urgent Action on Grid Constraints Hindering Net Zero Goals

June 30, 2023

The Future Oxfordshire Partnership, a committee of Oxfordshire's six local authorities working with key strategic partners working to deliver a sustainable future for the county, calls to address critical concerns hindering net zero ambitions in the region.


Future Oxfordshire Partnership Embarks on Ambitious Net Zero Journey

March 31, 2023

The Future Oxfordshire Partnership has endorsed five workstreams of the Net Zero Route Map and Action Plan, setting out the path to a net zero future for the county.


Oxfordshire Councils agree new approach to co-ordinating planning in county

September 27, 2022

On Wednesday 27 September, following the cessation of work on the Oxfordshire Plan 2050, the Future Oxfordshire Partnership agreed a new approach to co-ordinating planning across the county by updating the remit of the Oxfordshire Plan Advisory Group.

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