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Renewable energy body calls for net zero target to be at the centre of legislation

By Calum MacLeod

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Claire Mack, chief executive, Scottish Renewables.
Claire Mack, chief executive, Scottish Renewables.

Ofgem must help “deliver, not delay, net zero” in its final price control determinations, a leading industry body has warned.

Scottish Renewables has today published an open letter – signed by 17 businesses and organisations – calling on the energy regulator to ensure that the delivery of net zero is at the heart of Ofgem’s final determinations.

It comes as Ofgem, which regulates the companies who own Britain’s energy networks, concludes a round of open hearings as part of its consideration of their future business plans.

Commenting on the letter – sent to Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley and chairman Martin Cave – Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “With Ofgem set to publish its final determinations for electricity transmission and gas in December it is paramount that the regulatory framework has the flexibility and agility required to unlock the ambition and investment required to deliver, not delay, net zero.

“Time is of the essence. The next five years will be crucial in our collective quest to tackle the climate emergency and we must all make sure we do everything we can to set us on the right pathway.

“With governments in Westminster and Edinburgh committing to world-leading climate change targets the renewable energy industry is calling on Ofgem to ensure that investment in our networks is at least in step with, if not ahead of, this ambition.”

The letter is supported by key industry trade bodies including RenewableUK and the Energy Networks Association; the UK’s leading business representative body, the CBI; as well a range of other businesses with active and diverse interests in the GB energy system.

It sets out the importance of the next energy network price controls – due to begin in April 2021 for electricity transmission and gas and in 2023 for electricity distribution – to the delivery of Scotland and the UK’s climate change targets.

Among other points, the open letter says: “Whilst most of the collective focus in reaching net-zero emissions is on the delivery of low-carbon energy sources, transport and heating; electricity and gas networks – the cables, wires and pipes that carry our energy – are a cornerstone of our future energy strategy. They have an essential and unrivalled role to play in the energy transition, providing the critical national infrastructure required to deliver net zero.”

Read the full text here .

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