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Leah Holmes comments in Business Insider: Addressing critical energy challenges

5th Sept 2023

There’s no question about it – we’re facing severe challenges with the demand for energy and water services in the UK, posing substantial difficulties for business.

In a recent interview with South West Business Insider, Leah Holmes, a utilities associate in our smart energy and sustainability team, shed light on this critical issue. She emphasised the mounting pressure on power supply, noting that many development projects are experiencing grid connection delays that extend as far as 2037.

Leah said:

There’s an issue with large-scale builds but it’s increasingly at the smaller scale. Even a 1MW supply requirement is now going through an application process with the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) that we’ve never seen before and it can be years before power can be supplied.

Unfortunately, the issues don't stop at distribution network costs and grid supply difficulties. Increasingly, we’re also seeing a growing number of planning applications being rejected due to concerns related to water scarcity.

She urges businesses to adapt and innovate in response to water usage challenges, and stresses that now, more than ever, they need to explore renewable sources for their water and power supplies.

According to Leah, the key recommendation for any business considering a build or project requiring utility management is early due diligence. They have to think about utilities at the very start of a project. It simply can’t wait as the timelines are becoming too long. Consideration needs to be given to renewables, on-site battery storage and sharing power networks. It's time for businesses to take control of their own power generation.

Leah goes on to say:

Store it on site. Feed into the solution. Take away your reliance on the grid. You need a power strategy. It should be a question on everyone’s lips. Two years ago my job was a different one – this wasn’t even a question on planning lists until two years ago. But even now there are waits of up to four years for getting power connected to EV chargers for car parks. You have to look into this early.

For the full story and to gain further insights into Holmes' recommendations for facing these challenges, you can find the full article on the South West Business Insider website.