This paper, sponsored by SSEN, sets out new thinking on the role of Regional Energy Strategic Planners and how processes today, such as network and local area energy planning, can evolve to unlock regional net zero ambitions.

Roadmap to RESP: Unlocking regional ambition explores what stakeholders want to see from the RESP and puts forward evidence-based recommendations for its implementation.

Through extensive stakeholder engagement, it outlines how the RESP might enable dynamic and collaborative strategic energy planning at a regional level. Noting that the RESP is not expected to be in place for some time, it also sets out how existing processes, such as network and local area energy planning (LAEP), can evolve to support this ambition in the interim.

This report makes a series of recommendations to inform Ofgem and NESO development of RESP – and kickstart sector-wide thinking on how the RESP can best function to enable value across the board.

These include:

  • Ofgem, NESO and networks should seek to better integrate gas and electricity distribution and transmission network plans and local area energy plans, providing a foundation from which the RESP can build.
  • National government should mandate and provide financial resource and guidance for all local authorities to deliver a local energy decarbonisation plan.
  • Networks should continue their work with local authorities to provide technical support, develop tools and ensure clarity in the process for feeding these into network planning.
  • Networks should start an ‘in-development’ register which captures this information and assesses it against key project development milestones – conducting ‘deep-dive’ studies to build evidence for investment under Uncertainty Mechanisms where projects are developing substantially.
  • Ofgem and NESO should work with gas and electricity networks, local authorities and Net Zero Hubs in areas not already served by combined or devolved government to trial a process for setting regional strategic priorities.
  • Ofgem, networks and local authorities should work to update RIIO-2 engagement guidance ahead of RIIO-3, supporting a shared high standard in the industry.
  • A regional board structure should be trialled with the task of setting common regional objectives, particularly in areas not currently well served by devolved or combined authorities.
  • Networks should include more opportunities for regional stakeholders to input and feedback on investment plans early in the process. Ofgem and NESO should look to update current regulatory processes to provide clarity and consistency in the process for triggering anticipatory network investment to all stakeholders.

You can read the report here. To discuss this area of our work, contact Fraser Stewart.

Stay informed

Sign up to the Regen newsletter to receive a monthly digest of our work to revolutionise the UK energy system, and industry insights.

We take care of your personal data. We will only contact you according to your preferences and will NEVER share or sell your details. See our privacy policy for more information