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New Ofgem CEO outlines net zero opportunities

Published March 27, 2020

New Ofgem CEO outlines net zero opportunities

Ofgem’s new CEO has made a statement urging the organisation to “step up to the challenge of net zero.”

Jonathan Brearley sees net zero as having “far reaching opportunities – to create a smarter, more flexible energy system that serves consumers’ needs at the lowest cost, and that empowers local communities, to improve the quality of our environment, and in turn public health, and to drive innovation which creates new products, jobs and industries.”

Following his appointment in October, Brearley started as chief executive on 1 February, replacing Dermot Nolan.

With the United Nations Climate Change Conference in the UK this November, Brearley said he hopes “to see 2020 as a turning point…fundamental to thinking about the future is how we will step up to ending the UK’s contribution to climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the government’s 2050 net zero target.“

“Significant progress has already been made,” claimed Brearley, saying almost half of our electricity came from renewable or low-carbon sources last year. “But to meet net zero we must go further and faster, not least in transport and how we heat our homes and businesses.”

Ofgem published its Decarbonisation Action Plan on Brearley’s first day in charge. The Plan explains Ofgem’s immediate steps in making low-cost decarbonisation a reality. The plan includes:

  • setting up a fund to research innovative climate solutions
  • supporting the development of an offshore energy grid to enable a four-fold increase in offshore wind generation by 2030
  • ensuring network companies support the growth of renewables and new technologies such as EVs

Brearley also said Ofgem will need to work more closely with the government, industry, and consumer representatives.