The UK Government’s new energy bill should revolutionise the UK’s decentralised energy sector with the introduction of long-awaited regulation for heat networks and the establishment of a Future System Operator (FSO) to oversee electricity and gas markets, said the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).
The Queen’s Speech has set out the Government’s policies and legislation for the forthcoming parliamentary session, including setting the stage for an Energy Bill later this year.
The ADE has called on the Government to introduce regulatory powers for heat networks, as well as to set out a clear market framework for the sector and provide information on how heat network zoning will be implemented – bold policies essential to deliver the 55,000km of primary pipe network that will need to be installed.
Additionally, the importance of energy efficiency cannot be overstated, in helping households and businesses to manage their energy costs and in supporting national energy security. The ADE hopes that this will be reflected in its inclusion in the scope of the Energy Bill.
The trade organisation also anticipates the creation of an FSO will drive progress towards net zero, support a smarter and more flexible energy market, maintain energy security and minimise costs for consumers.
Sarah Honan, flexibility policy officer at the ADE, said: “The way the government will have to deliver a more flexible, affordable energy system is through fundamental market reform, as well as institutional and cultural change. At the ADE, we greatly anticipate the upcoming Queen’s Speech setting out what we have been requesting for a long time – a bold and decisive energy bill that sets the scene for a future system where methods of controlling supply and demand are given an equal footing.”
The ADE’s heat policy manager, Kieran Sinclair, noted: “Heat networks can help Britain hit net zero while potentially unlocking £50bn of investment and creating tens of thousands of jobs, at costs 40% cheaper than individual air source heat pumps.
“To realise this potential, a clear market framework and legislation covering heat network zoning powers are vital – this is what we are looking forward to hearing more about in the Queen’s Speech.”
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