Energy network operators set out a #NetworksTenPointPlan for climate action and a green industrial revolution.
The Prime Minister’s recent Ten Point Plan for climate action was the most significant policy intervention for the energy industry in nearly ten years, and the UK’s energy networks will be the foundation on which it is delivered.
This has been given even more impetus by the announcement of a new emissions reduction target as well as the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Budget – a route map to Net Zero emissions.
Strong track record
The UK’s energy network operators have a strong track record of delivery and have demonstrated globally recognised leadership in green innovation. This is set to be energised further as we rise to meet these challenges.
If we are to meet our Net Zero targets and deliver the green industrial revolution that the Prime Minister has called for then we need to go further and faster. The network operators will therefore be energising investment and climate action – delivering low carbon heat, transport and power generation – advanced by the latest technologies and supporting green jobs and growth across the whole of the UK.
David Smith, Chief Executive at Energy Networks Association which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses said:
“The UK’s energy network operators have already helped turn the UK into a superpower of renewable energy, with the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan we’ll be supercharging this, taking that decarbonisation further and faster.
“We are the foundation on which climate action will be built, whether it’s a hydrogen bonanza, slashing emissions from heat and transport, or protecting the natural environment we look forward to supporting skilled, green jobs and cutting the country's emissions at best value and least disruption to the public.”
The Networks’ Ten Point Plan:
- More offshore wind: Electricity transmission network operators are already exploring the consolidation of offshore connections to minimise disruption onshore and exciting work is underway on hybrid interconnectors, making networks smarter, and projects to use excess wind to produce hydrogen.
- Green public transport: Network operators already support electric and hydrogen buses and will continue to as we accelerate on the Road to Zero. The network operators will support more hydrogen and further electrification of public transport in all its forms including trains powered by hydrogen.
- Jet Zero and greener maritime: Green innovation is already underway to see how hydrogen and further electrification can be used in shipping and aviation.
- Making buildings greener and warmer: We are already seeing innovation lead to greener homes and this is set to continue as more heat pumps are installed and hydrogen-ready boilers come to market. Network operators have exciting trial projects that will help this develop safely, speedily and at least cost to the consumer.
- A hydrogen bonanza: The UK’s network operators have helped keep the UK at the top of the global race for hydrogen and this needs to continue. Exciting green innovation projects have been taking place such as H100 – the creation of the UK’s first hydrogen town, Hydeploy, HyNet, H21 and many others. A hydrogen bonanza will help support a green economic recovery, create jobs and slash carbon emissions all whilst ensuring the UK remains a world leader in green industrial strategy.
- Innovation and finance: The UK has always been able to attract investment to the green economy. The networks have invested more than £100bn since 1990 and this is set to continue over the coming years, providing the regulatory system matches policy ambition. Network operators have supported both world-leading flexibility markets and hydrogen innovation and are now readying the country for the seismic shift to fully decarbonised heat, transport and power.
- Electric vehicles: The electricity network operators have a key role to play in supporting infrastructure an innovation for a mass roll-out of electric vehicles. Ground-breaking pilot projects are underway for vehicle-to-grid smart charging as well as further digitalisation of the connections process. The networks have developed clear guidance for anyone looking to invest in their own electric vehicle, whether an individual customer or a fleet-operating business.
- Protecting and restoring our natural environment: As well as undergrounding cables in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, network operators are reducing their own business carbon footprint, and undertaking rewilding and afforestation projects across the UK. The networks also work to ensure that the trees around our pylons and infrastructure are well looked after and are spearheading efforts to minimise the continued spread of Ash Die-back
- Nuclear: More nuclear energy can help to provide stability to the electricity system – the transmission network operators are building the connections for new nuclear projects whilst also making the most of existing infrastructure.
- Carbon capture: Blue hydrogen is forecast to have a clear and important role within the UK’s mix, so carbon capture will be critical. Gas network operators’ green innovation projects like HyNet show the opportunities that blending can offer in driving the growth of this industry of the future.
About Energy Networks Association
Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate 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 Grid 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 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).