The UK government set out its legislative agenda for the 2022-23 session of Parliament in today’s Queen Speech. Including outline proposals to drive energy security and transport changes.
The proposals including in the announcement focused on driving economic growth, easing the cost of living, and levelling up opportunity. A new Energy Security Bill and Transport Bill will mean significant changes across the sector.
The Energy Security Bill fulfils some of the proposals set out in the energy security strategy, pledging “cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy” by strengthening the UK’s energy independence in the context of rising energy prices and supply issues following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The bill is expected to form a new independent body, the Future System Operator (FSO), to administer a whole-system view of Britain’s energy sector.
As detailed in the Energy Security Strategy, decarbonising energy is essential to achieve secure, independent supply and meet the UK’s climate objectives. The FSO will be tasked with guaranteeing energy resilience on the journey to Net-Zero with a remit to remit to integrate existing networks with emerging technologies, such as hydrogen.
The FSO will also work with energy suppliers and networks to balance the electricity system and meet increasing demands due to the rise in the electrification of vehicles and heating, The Energy Security Bill is also expected to provide financing models for hydrogen and carbon capture technologies.
A transport bill will create a new supervisory body for the railways called Great British Railways to improve customer experience and tackle the impact of Covid-19 on the use of public transport reducing cars on the road. This is key to decarbonising travel across the UK.
The Energy Security Bill will be the first of its kind over 10 years and will include the detail on the UK plans to end unabated fossil-fuelled energy generation by 2035. A commitment first announced in October 2021.
With an abundance of ambitious targets in place, the Government’s focus must now be on delivering the full potential of the future energy system whilst ensuring that progress is not hindered by outdated legislation and lack of support. It is vital that policies and regulation build long-term resilience, deliver on net-zero, and drive technological change.