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Defining a Unified Vision of the UK Energy Market in 2030+ Part 3

14 Oct 2022

The final article in our 3-part ‘Defining a Unified Vision of the UK Energy Market’ blog series discusses what is holding back the energy transition and what’s next for the energy markets of the future.

What is holding back the energy transition?

The discussions held during the Energy Markets 2030+ series indicate that the primary blockers to an effective energy transition are a lack of coordinated leadership and a tendency to focus on the resolution of near-term issues, at the expense of progressing change initiatives that will enable the future energy system. If we can remove these critical blockers, there will be no limit to what the industry can deliver in a short time-period.

Leadership – Introduction of an Energy Agency

One of the key recommendations from the group was that a centralised, independent Energy Agency is required for the planning and execution of the decarbonisation of energy over the next 30 years. It is critical that this body remains independent of politics, to ensure a consistent strategy, removed from the electoral swings. This will be essential in providing the confidence required to drive the private investment necessary. Whilst remaining independent, it will still receive its mandate through government which will provide appropriate powers to enforce accountability against the transition plan.

The Energy Agency will need to work across all sectors, allowing for a holistic oversight of transition activities, ensuring cross compatibility of programmes. It will need to architect the future energy system and markets, own the legal and regulatory framework that supports the transition and ensure that it is delivered within the required timescales.

It will act as the link between national and regional system architecture, allowing for local fuel mixes to develop organically to best serve the region, whilst remaining fully operable with the macro system.

The Energy Agency will also own the strategy for providing simultaneous education to the public, industrial and corporate sectors, embedding the principles of the country’s net zero ambitions and providing consumers with the toolsets necessary to engage with it.

The London 2012 Olympics would not have been delivered on time without the Olympic Design Authority (ODA). Its role in coordinating the collaboration of transport, developers, and government was essential to the programme’s success. Our proposal takes this experience and applies it to energy.

What Next?

The energy transition is the single biggest challenge facing humanity and whilst the prospect of delivery may look daunting, we have the capabilities to overcome it. In the UK, it took 250 years to build St Paul’s Cathedral, yet following the devastation of the great fire of London in 1666, the rebuild took a meagre 31 years. This stands as a testament to what can be achieved with a clear vision and plan.

Whilst we recognise there is still work to do and decisions to be made, the unity demonstrated by such a diverse set of stakeholders represents a huge leap forward in our collective effort as an industry in tackling the big issues.

Capgemini is holding a continuation of the Energy Markets 2030+ series to keep building momentum, driving industry-led action and producing recommendations to government. If you would like to be involved, please contact Michael Taylor and help us bring to light the collective vision that is taking shape.