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Energy Security Bill officially introduced in parliament

The Energy Security Bill had it’s first reading in Parliament yesterday, with measures aimed at securing energy independence and diversifying domestic supply.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng introduced the bill, which is set to accelerate the deployment of wind, new nuclear, solar and hydrogen, while supporting the production of domestic oil and gas in the nearer term.

It’s thought the plans could bring in £100bn in private sector investment by 2030 into industries such as hydrogen and offshore wind, and create 480,000 green jobs too.

photo of truss towers

Mr Kwarteng said: ‘To ensure we are no longer held hostage by rogue states and volatile markets, we must accelerate plans to build a truly clean, affordable, home-grown energy system in Britain.

‘This is the biggest reform of our energy system in a decade. We’re going to slash red tape, get investment into the UK, and grab as much global market share as possible in new technologies to make this plan a reality.

‘The measures in the Energy Security Bill will allow us to stand on our own two feet again, reindustrialise our economy and protect the British people from eye-watering fossil fuel prices into the future.’

The bill includes measures to support Carbon, Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) technology to help attract investment, as well as encouraging the deployment of heat networks and energy efficient heat pumps.

Ofgem will also be appointed to oversee the regulation of the heat networks market to ensure consumers are given fair prices, as energy bills are on the rise.

Industry body, Net Zero North West, has come out in support of the Bill, saying it could help to encourage investment in green technologies and help the UK to reach net zero targets.

Ged Barlow, Chief Executive of Net Zero North West, said: ‘We welcome the plans to slash red tape and drive innovation in the energy market. Reforming the role of Ofgem could enable pioneering peer-to-peer trading projects such as the regional smartgrid being developed in Cheshire in the North West to become a reality and drive down energy costs. Reaching net zero will require a range of low carbon technologies so we’re pleased to see the commitment to a whole-system approach.

‘Driving private sector investment into net zero will be critical and while we welcome the commitment to carbon capture and hydrogen we urge the Government to rapidly publish further detail on business models to bolster investor confidence. We’d also call for the Bill to support both the hydrogen villages planned for the North West and the North East to really kick start the hydrogen revolution in the home.’

A hydrogen village, the UK’s first, has been proposed for Cheshire’s Ellesmere Port and would be built by 2025 to show how the country could use eco-friendly energy.

However, critics have argued the Energy Security Bill does not focus enough on improving energy efficiency as a solution to not only lower emissions, but to cut high energy bills too.

Photo by Matthew Henry

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