Shropshire Star

MP wants farmers to be able to connect renewable energy production to National Grid

North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan, has urged the Government to back British farmers by upgrading the National Grid and enabling a boost in renewable energy production on farmyards in the county.

MP Helen Morgan raised the issue of court delays in the House of Commons on Tuesday

Mrs Morgan says many farmers and businesses across North Shropshire have faced issues with grid capacity limiting what can be produced on site.

With the costs of petrol and oil rising, this has left farmers footing the bill for a lack of capacity to produce their own energy.

The Lib Dem MP raised this with nuclear and networks minister Andrew Bowie in the Commons.

She said: “When I speak to our farmers, something coming up time and time again is how lack of grid capacity is stopping their businesses from growing, producing their own clean energy, and creating a more resilient, self-sufficient agricultural sector.

“I raised this with the minister, as in rural areas like North Shropshire, we are being held back from producing the energy we could by a lack of investment in critical infrastructure.

“The pressure will only increase as people move from oil-fired boilers to heat pumps and from petrol cars to EVs.

She told the Commons: “The Government needs to get a move on if it wants to level up Shropshire and support our local economy.

“I've been contacted by a number of businesses, mostly farms, who've wanted to install renewable energy on farms in the form of a solar array or wind turbine, but have been advised that they're going to have to pay thousands of pounds to help upgrade the grid in their area, making those projects unaffordable.

“Along with the commitment to phase out oil-fired boilers, going forward, there's going to be huge demand on the rural grid capacity.

“I wondered if the minister could reassure me that he's taking steps to ensure that rural networks are going to be able to cope with this surge in demand going forward.”

Mr Bowie replied: "We are doing everything we can working with Ofgem, companies, providers, and other organisations to ensure that the grid across the United Kingdom, but in particular rural locations where there is going to be a huge surge in demand, is able to cope and that people have fair and equitable access to that moving forward.”