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Northern Powergrid targets rapid decarbonisation in new business plan

Image: Northern Powergrid.

Image: Northern Powergrid.

Northern Powergrid is looking into how best to ‘build back better’ as part of a new business plan aimed at rapid decarbonisation.

The distribution network operator (DNO) has released the document that covers the role it can play in a green recovery and how it can work as a ‘force for good’ in the communities it serves. It claims it is the first DNO to share its emerging business plan, this early, in this way.

It is looking for feedback from stakeholders on a range of subjects outlined in its ‘Emerging Thinking – Building our plan for 2023-2028’ business plan. This includes how best to collaborate across the whole energy sector to deliver wide-ranging benefits and ensuring a focus on reliance and reliability.

Phil Jones, president and CEO of Northern Powergrid, said: “Enabling the communities that we are proud to serve to be key players in the push to net zero is a huge opportunity; we intend to make sure it happens.

"The conversation that we want to have about our Emerging Thinking is a significant step in building the plan that will make it possible.”

The business plan was developed in line with Ofgem’s ED2 price control regulatory period from 2023-2028, and builds on a previous consultation with 3,500 of the company’s stakeholders. These conversations covered environmental protection, customer service, decarbonisation and resilience.

Northern Powergrid has said that the development plan identifies a ‘clear direction of travel’ for the business and its 8 million customers across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire from 2023 and beyond.

Patrick Erwin, Northern Powergrid’s policy and markets director said network operators had an “enormous role” to play in the transition to clean energy and supporting a green recovery.

“We already invest £1 million in our regions’ economies every day by managing and improving our network which is fundamental to powering peoples’ lives. The work we do in our community to enable net zero will positively impact the future job prospects of communities and help create the workforces of tomorrow from the 1000s local young people heading back into education this September.”

Northern Powergrid has already began working closely with the communities it serves with its Community Energy Engagement Strategy, a set of 26 actions the DNO is intending to implement.

Erwin continued: “We think that the transition to a low carbon economy should be as equitable as possible, so that everybody in society benefits. Speaking with as many customers and stakeholders as possible is a priority so we can really understand and respond to the differing needs across the diverse communities we serve. It is only by doing this that we can help maximise the opportunities for our local and national economy.”

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