At two o’clock today (28 March) members of the energy sector sat down to consider what they hope to be included in the UK Government’s ‘Green Day’ announcement – which is likely to take place on Thursday (30 March) – to ensure that the UK remains a key player in the race to net zero.
The panel included: Bim Afolami, Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden; Ana Musat, executive director of policy & engagement at RenewableUK; Ben Nelmes, chief executive of New Automotive; Vicky Hird head of the Sustainable Farming Campaign for Sustain; and Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of Energy UK.
Current± has included a snapshot overview of the main topics discussed, below.
You can find our detailed overview of the briefing here.
Greater policy support for renewable energy was almost unanimously called for. Removing red tape that slows down the development of renewables will be crucial for the UK to reach its net zero target.
This includes lifting the de facto ban on onshore wind and removing planning barriers that increase the development time of some renewable generation sites (such as wind) by over 200%.
In light of increasingly attractive international renewable policies (such as the Inflation reduction Act in the US), the panel also expressed the need for policy security as well as better investment incentives to attract more investors to the UK market.
The need for greater grid capacity to facilitate the renewable transition has been highlighted consistently throughout the sector and today’s panel was no different.
Ana Musat highlighted that not enough transmission grid is currently available making connection processes unsustainably long.
The release of further details for the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate has already been delayed and with the January 2024 date of enforcement drawing ever nearer, the sector urgently needs better guidance, said Ben Nelmes.
As well as price transparency, Nelmes also hoped to see an attractive EV manufacturing investment strategy within the mandate, which also facilitates battery co-location.
Removing “outdated” barriers to technologies that could decarbonise the nations heat (such as heat pumps) was mentioned by Emma Pinchbeck.
Pinchbeck also discussed the necessity for implementing standards for new builds that support the integration of low-carbon heating systems.
Members of the panel also called for further detail on the Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) next steps and a timeline for the process as a whole.