Britain’s biggest group lobbying for low carbon power has welcomed the passing into law of the nation’s biggest shake up for a generation in energy regulation.
The Energy Act 2023 received Royal Assent yesterday. Among its reforms, it
- establishes of a Future Systems Operator for better co-ordinated planning in strategic energy systems;
- applies a Net Zero Mandate to Ofgem’s operations and responsibilities;
- regulation heat networks for the first time;
- gives powers to D-ESNZ to deliver government supported business models for both hydrogen production and Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS)
Reducing energy bills over the long term, and transitioning UK power markets to embrace greater complexity in generation, trading and customer protection in low carbon electricity and heat, are the priorities of the Act.
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology represents around 500 firms in low carbon power, and has actively lobbied for the new law’s reforms.
Frank Gordon, its director of policy, welcomed the statute, while conceding that it left some measures unaddressed.
“The Energy Act 2023 is a major piece of enabling legislation for our sector, and the REA warmly welcomes today’s confirmation as law“, said Gordon.
“The act provides certainty for investors in both hydrogen and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) – both technologies identified by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) as critical to reaching Net Zero.
“The REA and industry partners collectively called for this Bill to be reintroduced since last summer when its progress through parliament was delayed by the political uncertainty in Westminster, Gordon recalled.
“This previous stalling in legislation stifled investment and certainty; therefore the Bill receiving Royal Assent is indeed great news for the sector.
“We know that the entire energy transition still faces significant challenges which are currently delaying the roll out of low carbon technologies across all sectors. But this Act will be a catalyst for much needed action.
“We look forward to working alongside government in the coming months to help ensure energy is affordable for households and businesses and to make the UK more energy independent in the long-term.”