Public and private sector ‘partnership’ needed to deliver net zero, new report claims

Partnership is needed between the public and private sector if the UK is going to meet its net zero emissions target, according to a new report commissioned by Scottish Power. The new paper, launched today by SP Energy Networks, called on the two sectors to work together to deliver the energy infrastructure required to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

It claims that “radical reform” is required within the current regulatory model for the energy networks if the sector is to meet the climate targets and ensure public trust that it is moving in the right direction.

The report also recommends a new national office to drive energy strategy and oversee the energy transition.

It further suggests the “devolution of decarbonisation”to regional bodies who would work with industry, city regions and communities.

Scott Mathieson, network planning and regulation director, SP Energy Networks, said: “The pace of change and radical transformation required across the industry means we cannot stand still.

“Net zero needs to be at the heart of energy policy, and we need more local decision making capabilities to meet the unique needs of every community.

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“In order to build the smarter networks of tomorrow, we need a fair regulatory regime that reflects the investment required, the risk associated, and the incentives necessary to meet net zero.”

Johnny Gowdy, director at Regen, claimed electricity networks have “a critical role to play” in the decarobisation of the UK energy sector. Ben Miller, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said the conclusion of the report – that our net-zero ambitions must now sit at the heart of energy regulation – is correct.

He added: “Failing to heed this need for a new focus on the climate emergency risks missing out on not just the environmental benefits of more renewable energy, but the economic ones too.”