Green Recovery

Find out how we're addressing climate change and supporting a green economy. 

Overview 

Our Green Recovery programme is an unprecedented opportunity to support the green economy and address climate change by kickstarting shovel-ready green energy infrastructure projects. We will do this by making strategic investments in the electricity network to create new capacity that will significantly reduce the cost of connecting green infrastructure projects.

What is the purpose of Green Recovery?

We invited bids from shovel-ready low carbon energy projects that require a high or low voltage electricity connection in the next two years.

The only way for the UK to reach its legally-binding commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 is by decarbonising transport, how we heat our homes and businesses and how we generate electricity.

The aim of this project is to deliver electricity distribution infrastructure and solutions in places where that will lead to rapid, material development and stimulate economic recovery.

In our three licence areas alone there are already more than 130,000 electric vehicles, a figure projected to rise to more than 4.5m by the end of the decade.

At the same time we are increasingly seeing the use of electrically powered heat pumps as one of the key technologies which can replace traditional fossil fuel heating systems, alongside other potential solutions such as green gas.

The UK Government's Ten Point Plan

The recent publication of the UK Government’s Energy White Paper and the Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, demonstrates there is a need for the Government to see rapid and tangible progress in the roll out of both electric vehicles and the installation of heat pumps in homes to replace current carbon fuelled systems.

At the request of the Government and energy regulator Ofgem, the industry has undertaken an assessment for strategic electricity network investment to support a Green Recovery. We are working with our industry to identify locations where a lack of local network capacity is restricting development that will facilitate more people adopting low carbon technologies.

Successful bidders could include rapid electric vehicle charging stations in local communities, energy generators looking to connect more renewable energy to the electricity network, local heat networks or community energy projects.

Image of a wind farm

How many applications were received? 

There was a clear, strong message from our stakeholders, that there are a wide range of projects ready and raring to go within our area. In total 360 applications were received for the Green Recovery programme. These applications were diverse in geography and proposed work and have provided valuable insight to support the development of UK Power Networks next regulatory price control period, from 2023 to 2028. The map to the right highlights the locations of the applications received. 
Green recovery map

Who applied to the programme? 

Applicants from all areas bid in to the programme, from commercial fleet operators to local councils and community groups. In particular a strong response was seen in Electric Vehicle charging applications, these included councils installing local chargers on residential streets to commercial operators where the cost to connect had provided a challenge in the past. 

The graph to the right highlights the range of applications received by different technology type.

Green recovery pie chart

Which projects have been selected? 

Through the detailed review all submissions were analysed against the Green Recovery criteria. Projects were also developed on an engineering basis to identify key infrastructure challenges and to confirm estimated costs.

A detailed analysis was then carried out to study where two projects would benefit from the same reinforcement, so lowering their cost.

Once a shortlist was identified, an application was made to our regulator, Ofgem, to propose and gain approval for this investment.

In total 86 applications were approved with a total investment of £66.1m. These applications will unlock 147MVA of capacity and will provide:

  • Significant capacity at 11 Motorway Service Areas to enable capacity for more than 600 ultra fast 150kW chargers.
  • Range of Local Authority and Commercially Operated local charging hubs to enable 500 rapid 50kW chargers.
  • Community and public building heat and renewable generation projects.

Has my project been selected?

We have written to all applicants to advise of the outcome of their application. We will also use the knowledge gained from all applications to inform our network forecasting models and our ED2 investment plans.

Green recovery graphic