The Climate Change Committee (The CCC) has today published a report calling for swifter action on decarbonisation.
The report supports the view of Energy Networks Association (ENA), which represents the UK's electricity and gas network operators, that bolder action is needed by the government to ensure the 2035 target to decarbonise the energy grid is reached.
The energy industry body is renewing its calls for Ofgem to be given a net zero mandate to help ensure that the gas and electricity investment decisions they make are aligned with the 2035 target.
Alongside this, it believes network operators should have more flexibility to invest in infrastructure now, so that network capacity is ready when it is needed. The current regulatory environment, which favours investing at the point of need, risks slowing delivery down.
Finally, ENA believes planning should be reformed to ensure there is a coherent delivery framework that ensures national priorities are effectively translated into local decisions.
Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of ENA, which represents UK energy networks said:
“If we are to hit the government’s decarbonisation targets, secure energy investment in an increasingly competitive global market and protect long term energy security for customers then the government needs to be acting faster now.
“The CCC’s report makes clear that the solution to this challenge must involve both gas and electricity, yet policy progress is lacking. While we welcome the CCC’s assessment of the importance of hydrogen transport and storage infrastructure in delivering decarbonisation, we need to see rapid progress across both renewables and hydrogen deployment to make the 2035 target achievable.
"The networks are ready to invest, innovate and deliver but a lack of political action risks holding decarbonisation back.”
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About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.
ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.
Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.
What are energy network operators?
Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 40,000 people in Great Britain.