Lots to agree with here from @SimonVirley. Net zero will require refreshing how we deliver urgent and coordinated change to cut emissions. Simply focusing on the system operator isn't enough, need to think about who actually drives the mantle of turning policy into delivery....
...which is why I also favour some sort of Energy Agency. I would make it slightly narrower though, focused purely on translating policy objectives into target outputs for the system operator, Ofgem and local / regional decision-makers. More of a 'Net Zero Energy Commission'....
...which would be housed in Govt to begin with and have a limited remit and headcount to avoid it being another cumbersome quango. @Laura_Sandys and I have been developing thinking in this area, with more to share soon!

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More from @jbuckland13

20 Dec 20
THREAD: Just catching up on the Treasury's Net Zero review. Vitally important report that fires the starting gun on developing a fair and equitable climate transition. Only an interim report, but a few interesting points to reflect on...
(1/5) No longer business as usual: Report makes clear that net zero will mean real changes to how we live, work and get around. Obvious, but language is far stronger than in previous documents from Treasury. Important honesty that will help justify more radical policy to come.
(2/5) Opportunities abound, but so do costs: In similar vein to PM's 10-point green plan, focus on economic upside, incl. green jobs. In truth, overall macroeconomic impact likely to be limited to 2050, but costs highly uncertain so no point giving a fixed overall figure yet.
Read 7 tweets
14 Dec 20
THREAD: Confess I am a tad bias having written a few versions, but great to see the publication of an enjoyable and far-reaching White Paper. No easy task outlining how to make net zero possible, but a great start made from Govt. Some key reflections..

(1) Electricity the future energy currency: Electrification the big winner, with a clear focus that continues the theme of the PM's 10-point plan to drive heat pumps and EVs. Hydrogen still critical, but electricity critical for the new 2030 target.
(2) Twice as fun: The huge uptick in electrification will means electricity capacity must double. As well as big increase in renewables, need firm-power to keep costs down, hence CCUS, nuclear, hydrogen etc. Great to see 2050 modelling and not lock-in specific tech targets.
Read 9 tweets
17 Nov 20
THREAD (1/7) Quick take on 10 point green plan: Serious set of net zero commitments that show PM wants to make his record on green jobs central to the Tory platform at the next election. Further detail will be needed on delivery, but this is an important step-forward on net zero.
(2/7): Ambitious targets for key tech fits the way PM operates (e.g. mass testing) – set a demanding goal that will require huge changes to deliver. Clear that this approach can work (offshore wind). 2030 commitment to phase out ICE vehicles was unthinkable just a few years ago.
(3/7): To support new deployment targets, PM has announced significant new public funding in a number of areas to drive forward more rapid progress (CCUS, hydrogen, batteries). While some will argue the ££ isn’t enough, its a serious down payment when fiscal backdrop v tough.
Read 7 tweets
16 Nov 20
THREAD: Given the Prime Minister will shortly publish his long-awaited 10-point green plan, I thought I would set out what I would have recommended he did if I was still in No10. Lots no doubt missing, but hopefully ambitious, while still being politically possible.
#1 Net Zero power supplies: Given importance of electrification, set a bold date to completely decarbonise (more or less) electricity. Could be 2040, or even earlier. Should also set out 10-year ‘Acceleration Plan’ for bringing forward non-commercial tech (e.g., floating wind).
#2 Redo the wiring: Given need to decarbonise the whole economy, need to stop thinking fuel by fuel. Create an independent ‘Net Zero Energy Agency’ that identifies what is required, then uses power of markets to deliver it, while also bringing forward strategic tech (e.g. CCUS).
Read 11 tweets
21 Sep 20
Really useful report from @zeroc_official on the need for a more comprehensive approach to carbon pricing to achieve net zero. Some controversial bits, but helps to move the debate forward in a critical year as UK sets new approach to carbon pricing post-Brexit. Three key bits:
(1) Approach to carbon pricing too patchy (a point well made by (@EnergySysCat), with the cost varying hugely across (and within) different sectors. Govt should commit to an overall price target and work out how best to deliver it in each sector. Image
(2) Governance is key to ensure that businesses and individuals have confidence to invest in low-carbon solutions. Should be a mixture of contractual and legislative constraints that ensure lock-in politically and commercially. Image
Read 4 tweets
29 Jun 20
Great report out today on my favourite subject - carbon pricing. Led by the excellent @racheljanetwolf. It's ambitious to say the least, but in a politically charged area we need the boldness to inch towards a coherent regime that drives investment. 3 things jumped out to me...
1: The mixed signals in the power sector need to be fixed. The UK ETS won't quite do it, but there is finally an opportunity to create a more definable (and investable) single price. The idea to utilise it to help cut subsidy costs is a good one.
2. The idea of biting the bullet on pricing domestic gas is clearly becoming more mainstream which is good news. My only point of caution would be on timeframe. Surely better to implement low at first, then increase as low-carbon heat alternatives fall in cost?
Read 4 tweets

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