Sir, – Electricity network operators are standing in the way of the green revolution, preventing businesses from taking advantage of cheap renewable energy and causing untold economic damage.

Urgent action is required to enable the deployment of on-site renewables in Scotland and further throughout the UK. The perfect environment exists to encourage their installation: the political will, planning policy, financial incentives and green credentials are all there. The key component missing is grid capacity.

The distribution network operators (DNOs) that administer the Grid Connection Application process and their political overseers (Ofgem, the Energy Networks Association, etc.) are collectively the biggest barrier to the deployment of renewable energy generation in this country, and in turn to our net zero targets.

It is understandable that serious consideration must be given to large utility scale generators such as wind farms or solar farms that export everything to the grid, sometimes known as ‘In Front of the Meter systems’.

What is urgently needed is a significant differentiation between these and ‘Behind the Meter’ systems, which are designed to offset a site’s grid-bought electricity consumption to save as much money as possible. It is systems such as these that can have an immediate and beneficial impact on a business’ cash flow.

A favourite stock defence of the DNOs is that they ‘never say no’ to a connection request – whilst this is technically true, they just create a prohibitive barrier to the project. Recent examples that some of our clients have faced include:

• A 100kWp photovoltaic system producing power that would be consumed entirely onsite, which was deemed ‘good to connect’ through the G99 process, would then need to go through a 'statement of works’ process, requiring an up-front £9800 payment, an additional six months of study and no guarantee of success.

• A planned 1MWp system that would mostly be consumed on-site was reduced to 200kWp because of constraints. This was despite the client being happy to have no power exported to the grid, to ensure no impact on the local network.

• A large commercial system for an agricultural supply business was advised that it could not be connected until 2032. This organisation’s electricity bill has quadrupled since last year and the proposed PV system would immediately reduce their reliance on the grid by 45%.

Urgent action is required, but I am afraid we will not get it unless grid capacity is recognised as the national scandal that it is. I strongly encourage your readers with an interest in such matters to personally lobby their councillors, MSPs and MPs and ensure that their relevant trade associations are aware of the issue and are acting upon them.

Material to support these lobbying efforts can be sought from Solar Energy UK (SEUK).

Jamie Storry, Lanarkshire, National Sales Manager, Emtec.