How can the UK achieve its net-zero target whilst maintaining its energy security of supply? There are certainly challenges in the market at the moment, with an uncertain political and fiscal climate discouraging private investment.
Soaring energy bills, the war in Ukraine, global volatility and the post-pandemic recovery - including ongoing structural issues - mean that these challenges are persisting. But they must not be allowed to derail progress towards a clean energy future, even while the British government talks about scaling up North Sea oil exploration to meet 'short-term challenges'.
These are just some of the ideas that businesses, green groups and the public have said that they want to see being considered and driven forwards in a meaningful way:
- Energy companies being taxed more heavily so that their record profits are reinvested in clean energy initiatives and used to support struggling households.
- Further investment in green energy technologies such as commercial floating wind farms.
- Investment in charging infrastructure that will allow electric vehicles to be rolled out faster.
- Certified renewable energy schemes that mean customers can buy 'true' green energy from providers.
- Policy frameworks that support and encourage faster development of low-carbon technologies.
- Further work on the North Sea Transition Deal so that the regulatory regime begins to focus on offshore wind rather than oil drilling.
- Higher investment, focus and funding for domestic and business insulation to reduce the need for heat in the first place.
- A greater emphasis on skills development and training to escalate the creation of tomorrow's skilled green energy workforce.
- Transparent reporting that flags up progress and highlights failing areas.
- Incentives and penalties for polluters that fail to comply and invest for a greener future.