Decarbonisation of UK power sector in danger: targets for 2035 at risk

MPs urge the government to take a more active role in coordinating delivery and call for Ofgem to be given a net zero mandate

The UK must rapidly increase the generation of fossil fuel-free electricity, or risk failing to hit its target of decarbonising the power sector by 2035.

The Commons Business and Trade Committee has issued a report cautioning the government about the dangers of delaying decarbonisation, emphasising it as the report’s primary message.

The report, which supports the creation of a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, calls for enhanced political leadership and greater government involvement in coordinating delivery.

MPs also recommend giving the energy regulator Ofgem a net zero mandate.

The report highlights the gaps and risks in the government’s strategy to decarbonise the power sector, such as the de facto ban on onshore wind in England and the lack of investment in energy efficiency measures.

The report also stresses that demand reduction and flexibility must be treated as equal partners to supply and that customers must be placed front and centre of the transition.

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson told ELN: “The government’s support for investment in new renewable technology means we are leading the world in reaching net zero.

“While the rest of the world plays catch-up, we have cut our emissions by 48% between 1990 and 2021, and increased our share of electricity generated from renewable sources from 2% to around 40%.

“We start from a strong position, having delivered the world’s four largest operational offshore wind farms as part of a clean energy miracle since 2010, and we have also installed enough solar to power over 4 million homes.

“We are taking real decisions to benefit this country: to deliver a secure, low-cost and low-carbon energy system, to decarbonise the UK’s electricity system by 2035, and to reduce energy bills across the UK.”

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