A number of UK energy trade associations remain “concerned” on the powers granted to Ofgem to deliver the government’s net zero prospects.
Penned within an open letter to Grant Shapps, secretary of state for Energy Security and Net Zero, the organisations expressed concerns over the powers Ofgem has to deliver net zero and create a fully decarbonised energy system by 2035. The signatories declared the long-term importance of the Energy Security Bill vital despite ongoing concerns within the sector.
The letter had been signed by the Energy Networks Association, Green Alliance, The association for Decentralised Energy, The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, The Carbon Capture and Storage Association, The Electricity Storage Network, Global Infrastructure Investor Association, Hydrogen UK, Regen and Renewable UK.
The signatories believe that more power should be allocated to Ofgem in order for the energy regulator to support long-term net zero measures and promote new low carbon technologies.
To achieve this, Ofgem should be empowered with a net zero mandate to allow strategic investment – a barrier to investment in a low cost and low carbon energy system. The Energy Security Bill is a “prime” opportunity to deliver this change.
Alongside a new Net Zero Duty, the letter urges the government to publish the Strategic Policy Statement to Ofgem so the regulator can further the delivery of net zero in its decision making processes.
“The foundations of our future energy system are already being built and the regulatory decisions that determine our ability to meet the UK’s decarbonisation targets are being made by Ofgem today. Empowering Ofgem with a net zero mandate will enable strategic investment, removing a clear barrier to investment in the low-cost, low-carbon energy system we are all working towards,” said Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy Networks Association.
Various technologies have been touted as influential in decarbonising the energy system. This includes solar, wind power, heat pumps, hydrogen and more. However more investment and more confidence is needed in each of these sectors to truly capitalise on the opportunity. This could be important for decarbonisation and reaching net zero.