Our ambitious paper, Energy Networks for the Future, highlights the need for a new partnership between the public and private sector to deliver the energy infrastructure needed to achieve net zero decarbonisation.
We know the electricity networks have a critical role to play in our decarbonisation journey. This has been highlighted by the renewed political interest in who owns the networks, how they are governed and the method by which they are regulated and incentivised to make the right investments for our future. This paper, launched in November 2019 at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, is written by Regen and supported by SP Energy Networks. It examines whether the current regulatory model for electricity networks is still fit for purpose to lead the energy transformation and deliver the scale of investment needed to achieve net zero carbon. A core finding of the paper is that radical reform of the current regulatory model for the energy networks is needed to meet the climate emergency, and to ensure public trust that the industry can deliver a zero carbon energy system that is sustainable, resilient and affordable.
Our recommendations include:
the establishment of a new national office to drive energy strategy and oversee the net zero transition
increased devolution of decarbonisation and sustainable energy delivery to regional bodies who would work with industry, city regions and communities to lead a local energy revolution
embed decarbonisation objectives and outputs within the regulatory model
require networks to include in their business plans a range of net zero carbon options that can be quickly enacted to meet changing requirements
ensure network companies fulfil their role in achieving a just transition to a low carbon society.
The paper has been informed by indepth research, including interviews with a wide range of industry leaders and stakeholders. Regen’s expertise across the whole system and our strong relationships with Distribution Network Operators (DNO), devolved governments, local authorities and community groups, has given us a solid basis on which to investigate, analyse and design a new network model. Working closely with SP Energy Networks, we have been able to understand the ambitions and pressures on DNOs, as well as that of their customers, as we transition to a net zero energy system and society.