Bridges and Bottlenecks is the latest podcast series by Energy Voice Out Loud in partnership with DNV. Each episode looks to address the hard-hitting issues within the energy transition. Technology exists that will be the bridge to take us there, but there are still a number of bottlenecks that stand in the way of progress.
Joining Energy Voice’s print features lead, Ryan Duff, is Michael Dodd, DNV’s director and market area manager for the UK and Ireland, and Julian Leslie, head of networks for National Grid ESO.
Brides and Bottlenecks
The three dive into the struggles the grid is facing as more and more technology looks to connect, the ways in which government policy can help and the role of storage in the UK’s energy mix moving forward.
Michael Dodd says: “I think when we talk about the energy transition there’s lots of focus on lots more renewables, there’s lots of focus on the new technologies that are happening and kind of what’s coming in at the domestic level as well.
“But in my view, the grid and the electric grid in particular is almost the forgotten beast that people don’t talk enough about.”
Mr Leslie explained his belief that the grid has been a “silent partner” in the UK’s journey to net zero, adding: “I think that it’s been so successful in the last 10 years.
“If you think about it in 2013, 66% of all of our electrical energy came from coal, then last year it was less than 1%.”
There is a lot of talk in the energy sector about renewable energy projects receiving grid connections and how the lack of grid connection can impact the UK’s journey to net zero.
Recently, a report from Electricity Networks Commissioner Nick Winser made a series of recommendations to the government in a bid to improve grid bottlenecks and halve the time for new transmission construction, from 14 years to seven.
To solve this, the trio discussed how government policy can help solve this issue. Mr Dodd explained that things are “definitely moving in the right direction”, but the gid still proves to be a bottleneck from the perspective of “commentators and analysts”
However, DNV’s director and market area manager for the UK and Ireland said, “I think that the conversations are now happening.
“The way the grids are placed at the center of the conversation still needs to develop, and that’s from all policymakers and whichever governments in at the time.”