Network distributors welcome taskforce findings

Gas and electricity network distributors have welcomed the findings of the Northern Energy Taskforce strategy.

Network distributors welcome taskforce findings

The final report of the Northern Energy Taskforce calls for the North to lead the UK’s low-carbon transition and sets out proposals to create a regional energy economy by 2050 that would be worth £15 billion a year and support 100,000 green jobs providing affordable, clean energy.

Mark Horsley, CEO at Northern Gas Networks, the gas distributer for the North of England, said: “We welcome the government’s Clean Growth strategy and the inclusion of hydrogen’s potential as a key pathway for the 2050 energy mix which acknowledges the importance of collaboration, network innovation and creativity in meeting the challenges we face.

“However, the gas network remains a crucial piece of the decarbonisation jigsaw, and we believe more still needs to be done to give it a greater role in policy than it has today.

“Big challenges need big ideas, and the Northern Energy Taskforce strategy sets out a bold vision for how the North can become the leading low-carbon energy region in the UK by 2050, moving from cleaner to clean, to green.

“It spotlights how the North can make best use of its geological and geographical assets, its people and vast economic potential to generate green growth and jobs, and accelerate the pathway towards UK decarbonisation.”

Northern Powergrid, the electricity distributor for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, has welcomed proposals to put low-carbon energy at the centre of the North’s economy and said it was ready to play its part in the region’s energy revolution.

The report calls for two new bodies to work alongside Northern Powergrid and other regional network operators to drive forward a Northern Energy Strategy.

The IPPR report, A Northern Energy Strategy, calls on Ofgem to make the North its testbed for the transition to a smart grid and the evolution of Northern Powergrid and other distribution network operators into distribution system operators actively managing supply and demand on the electricity network.

Jim Cardwell, Northern Powergrid’s head of trading and innovation, said: “We’re committed to playing our part in developing the skills and experience our region needs to grow the low-carbon economy, and we are trialling smart new ways of managing the electricity network which improve the service we can give our customers.

“We’re eager to see more cross-sector collaboration, and are already working with universities and leading regional businesses to develop innovative services which will cut the costs of running our electricity network, make it more reliable and enable it to support more renewable power.”


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