The energy sector has a central role to play as the UK looks to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Energy UK.
On 22 June, together with PwC, it published, Rebuilding the UK economy: Fairer, cleaner, more resilient, set out how a combination of policy framework, investment and incentives could accelerate the economic recovery and simultaneously boost UK climate change efforts. It called for a centrally funded, long-term national programme for energy efficiency, low carbon and smart building, together with continued deployment of smart meters, noting this would cut energy bills while also reducing emissions.
Elsewhere, it recommended further accelerating the transition to low carbon transport and undertaking measures to unlock further private investment in a digital, flexible and affordable low carbon energy system. This could include incentives and network charging to speed up investment in flexible power solutions. Accelerating CCUS and low carbon hydrogen solutions, meanwhile, were advocated as ways to increase the development of regional industrial clusters and local supply chains.
In a bid to support people, businesses and local authorities to recover from COVID-19, the report recommended government work with industry to launch a training programme that supports unemployed workers into permanent employment, along with funding support for SMEs to transition to net zero. It also suggested developing a mechanism that makes it easier for local authorities to benefit from funding of decentralised energy projects.