The UK Government has been called upon to invest and regulate efficiently in order to reduce the cost of energy amid the wholesale price crisis.
According to the Ten Principles for Policymaking in the Energy Transition: Lessons from experience report, new principles for policymaking can unlock faster and cheaper technology growth, from green hydrogen to net zero steel, to cut emissions and boost economies.
Three levers of policy have been identified that could be a substantial impact on accelerating the development of clean technologies. This includes investment, tax and regulation. If this can be achieved, it could unlock £23 trillion ($26 trillion) in benefits by 2030 worldwide.
Government policy, investment and regulation can cut energy costs instead of increasing them, crowd in private investment instead of crowding it out, and accelerate innovation and growth.
In opposition to the idea that policy should be ‘technology neutral’, the successes of onshore wind, offshore wind, solar PV and electric vehicles were driven by governments directly identifying and supporting the technologies that they needed to succeed, the report stated.
“Experience with clean energy policy around the world over the past 30 years shows that it is time to reconsider what is required to meet climate and energy goals. Decisive government action is essential, but to succeed it must rely on a different set of policy principles, given the transformational scale of change required,” said Laura Diaz Anadon, director of the centre for environment, energy and natural resource governance at the University of Cambridge, one of the lead authors of the report.
“Governments cannot simply set the goal and encourage the market to deliver. They must be active participants; investing to de-risk markets, regulating to bring down costs, and making strategic technology choices to incentivise and focus the private sector. Doing so can deliver a transition to clean energy that is faster, cheaper and more sustainable for all.”
The thoughts in the report echo those from the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), which highlighted the need to back the creation of demonstration centres around the UK to drastically reduce the costs associated with low-carbon technologies in a report today.
NZTC believes a range of technologies, which currently are expensive, could be reduced with further investment in technology and innovation. This could be vitally important for the UK’s hydrogen, carbon capture storage and floating offshore wind sectors.