Energy Systems Catapult study maps out net zero policy pathway

Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) has called for the setting of carbon standards as they could enable the innovation needed to achieve a “Net Zero” economy.

In its report, Rethinking Decarbonisation Incentives, published on 20 June, the ESC explained sector-specific carbon standards would place the UK on a net zero policy pathway while ensuring a lower overall impact on energy prices. In contrast, it concluded that an economy-wide carbon tax or emissions trading scheme would be “extremely challenging to implement”.

The study found incentives to invest in low carbon solutions were too low in several UK sectors – citing heat as a notable one. It suggested that the carbon standards could be introduced alongside a system of tradeable credits. This would allow energy companies to be more flexibility to innovate in meeting the standard.

Head of Markets, Policy and Regulation at ESC, George Day, said: “We believe an economy-wide carbon policy framework – comprising a mix of market, pricing and regulatory interventions – can bring forward investment and innovation to deliver clean growth.”