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Ideal Queen's Speech: Prepare now for a low carbon energy system

Ideal Queen's Speech: Prepare now for a low carbon energy system

Energy Technologies Institute

3 min read Partner content

Ahead of the Queen's Speech, the Energy Technologies Institute calls for the introduction of an Energy Transition Bill.

"My Government will introduce a Bill to... ensure the UK is fully prepared to develop, commercialise and integrate the technologies necessary to transition to a low carbon energy system by 2050."

The Energy Technologies Institute calls for an Energy Transition Bill to allow for proper planning on infrastructure changes by 2025 to provide the best outcome for consumers, businesses and UK companies

This would build on the existing legislation contained in the Energy Act and ensure timely decisions are made on the most effective, least cost route to developing the UK’s energy future.

Because of its ageing energy infrastructure the UK will need new energy capacity regardless of whether we choose to tackle climate change and decisions on the most cost effective way of implementing those changes need to be made soon to ensure proper planning, demonstration and development to take place.

We believe it is crucial that the country spends the next 10 years (the effective lifetime of the next two parliaments) developing and proving the capability of a basket of key supply and demand technology options.

This decade of preparedness will allow known, but currently underdeveloped, solutions to be developed, commercialised and integrated and choices about the energy infrastructure design made by 2025.

The UK has to replace – and therefore pay for – its energy infrastructure so a low carbon solution becomes an incremental cost with additional benefits.
The country needs to adopt a systems approach to its energy planning – making decisions based on robust evidence to ensure any transition is a practical rather than an ideological opportunity.

Preparing properly now means the UK can build capacity to provide a launch pad for implementation and invest resources where they will have the best economic leverage in the long-term, creating long term benefits for the UK and its economy.

We need to prove capability across a range of the most attractive supply and demand technologies and ensure we have the information needed to make the right decisions not just in the power sector, but across heat and transport as well.

By 2025, choices must be made regarding infrastructure design for the long-term. Closing down our options too soon could prove unnecessarily costly for the UK, but the bigger threat is failing to build up those options at all.

An Energy Transition Bill would allow proper planning to take place based on the best available evidence and provide the best outcome for consumers, businesses and UK companies that would play a major role in any transition.

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