Brexit, a new government and changes in energy policies have created policy gaps in the sector.
According to CEO of Energy UK Lawrence Slade, government needs to sort out how it is going to fix those issues to keep investment in the energy sector flowing.
Speaking to ELN at Energy UK’s conference in London, he said: “What needs to come out now, where the government needs to show leadership and ambition is actually laying down certainty around direction of travel so [it’s] great that we’ve got COP21 coming in by the end of the year, great that we’re adopting the Fifth Carbon Budget but actually what we really need to know is how we’re going to get that. How are we going to fix those policy gaps that we’ve got now? How are we going to keep the investment flowing?
Commenting on the Competition and Markets Authority‘s reforms launched earlier this year, Mr Slade said the Tory Administration alongside the energy industry need to “show leadership” to engage the customer into the market.
He also insisted that apart from a strong policy framework, new technologies are key in making the system more flexible and efficient and getting a strong energy mix.
He added: “Now within that mix you’re going to find elements of wind, be it offshore or onshore, you’re going to have solar, you’re going to have different forms of storage, which could go every where from batteries, to hydro to tidal and you’re going to have new nuclear, maybe SMRs [Small Modular Reactors] as well as new build nuclear fleet and it’s really elements of all of that coming together. But also, ‘what do we get on the digital? Where can we bring in these new technologies that create a more flexible system and actually what benefits can that provide the consumer?’
“So yes, I am definitely in the camp that we need to build lots more new infrastructure but I am also in the camp that says ‘but let’s make our systems more efficient, let’s see how we can leverage the infrastructure we’ve got, how we can bring in different things like storage, like demand side’ because ultimately, a billion pounds saved there, it’s a billion pounds of customers’ bills.”
Business, Energy and Industrial Secretary Greg Clark said during the same event the energy system is seeing an intense technology innovation.