BRIEFING NOTE: Grid constraints and industrial decarbonisation



IDRIC Policy Team


Access to adequate electricity grid infrastructure currently represents a major constraint on UK Net Zero efforts. While the prevailing discussion to date has focused on delays to connecting large scale renewable projects, it is crucial to recognise the impact of grid connection issues on the demand side, where new or upgraded grid connections are required to enable industrial users to deploy a range of technologies critical for reducing fossil fuel use, and therefore greenhouse gas emissions, in industrial and manufacturing sectors.

IDRIC is currently gathering evidence on experiences of grid constraints among industrial users, and the implications for their decarbonisation plans. This briefing presents preliminary findings from the first 26 responses to an ongoing survey of industrial energy users.

Key findings

  • In addition to electricity generation, grid connection delays present a significant risk for demand side decarbonisation measures, including electrification, hydrogen, CCUS, energy efficiency, onsite renewable generation and electricity export.
  • Many companies report delays of several years, with some offered connection dates as late as 2037, increasing cost, risking critical investment and loss of opportunities to tackle industrial emissions.
  • Grid delays may have an impact on the decarbonisation of businesses and sectors downstream in the supply chain, due to delays to the supply of low carbon and sustainable fuels

Associated Research

IDRIC Policy Team