UK energy regulator unveils plan to support renewables, electric vehicles

FILE PHOTO: The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) sits off Trump International Golf Links Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain, September 7, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s energy market regulator Ofgem laid out a plan on Monday to support the growth of renewable energy and get 10 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads by 2030.

Its “decarbonisation action plan” also aims to support the development of an offshore grid to enable a four-fold increase in offshore wind generation in the next 10 years and a fund to encourage investment in solutions to tackle climate change.

“As low-carbon renewable energy grows and more transport goes electric, the energy system needs to be more flexible to respond to peaks and troughs in both supply and demand,” Ofgem’s new chief executive officer Jonathan Brearley said in a statement.

As pressure to act on climate change mounts, many countries need to tackle how to ensure secure supplies of electricity amid rising proportions of renewable energy on the grid.

Last year, Britain was the first major economy to legislate a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050.

Ofgem’s plan has nine actions focused on ensuring energy networks are ready to deliver net zero emissions, dealing with increased electricity demand and how to decarbonise the heat and transport sectors.

To meet the net zero goal, Britain will have to change the way homes and businesses are heated, including the use of hydrogen boilers or electricity to power heat pumps, Ofgem said.

Britain’s grid operator National Grid welcomed the plan, saying it is critical the regulator, government and industry are aligned to decarbonise the energy sector in the journey to net zero emissions at the lowest cost to consumers.

Reporting by Nina Chestney and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter