Panel host/moderator – Steve Jennings, Leader of Industry – Energy, Utilities & Resources PwC UK
Panellists – Laura Sandys
Suleman Alli, UK Power Networks (TBC)
Philippa Pickford, Ofgem (TBC)
Clementine Cowton, Octopus Energy (TBC)
The UK government has set an ambitious target to reach Net Zero by 2050. Quite rightly, there has been much attention focused on the portfolio of technologies that will help us achieve this, from new nuclear and renewables to hydrogen and CCUS.
However, there has been less discussion about whether the construct of the UK energy system and associated regulatory framework is fit for purpose in a Net Zero future.
Arguably, the current market structures and cost base for all parts of the system are based on dated metrics and values. We are trying to squeeze a totally new system and dynamic low carbon producing assets into an old set of arrangements and values, designed for a very different energy system. In addition, there isn’t always enough focus on optimisation to eliminate waste and improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing the overall costs of the low carbon transition.
The panel will discuss how to achieve greater energy utilisation for less cost, deliver productivity gains, and appropriately reshape the market and energy value chain to open it up to new services and activities that help optimise the system so it is fit for the future as we move towards a net zero economy.
As part of the discussion the panel will address several strategic themes including:
Perhaps consumers are more concerned by security of service than security of supply?
Where else might policy makers look at the design of other markets and how competition is used to deliver cost efficiencies and improved value to consumers?
Should net zero incentivise producers/ energy suppliers to reduce consumers’ energy demands?
Does the energy value chain – as set out in regulation – need to be redefined to allow parties to take on different roles?