The UK’s much delayed Energy White Paper, first announced two years ago, was finally published on 14 December 2020.

A lot has happened in those two years, and it is clear that, for the reasons discussed below, the vision for a new, greener energy future for the UK, as outlined in the Energy White Paper, is a lot more ambitious than that originally conceived.

Justyna Bremen, Senior Expertise Lawyer at EBN partner Ashurst, has set out an overview of the key elements of the Energy White Paper in the context of other recent developments. It is intended that this short “at a glance” summary will be followed by closer analysis of some of the key elements.

What you need to know

  • The Energy White Paper sets out the policies for the UK’s “net zero future”, building on the plans and commitments set out in the earlier Ten Point Plan and National Infrastructure Strategy.
  • Some of the “headliner” policies include: confirmation that the UK will proceed with a UK ETS; commitments to take forward CCUS, clean hydrogen and new build nuclear; a key role for offshore wind as well as onshore wind and solar PV; competitive tendering in onshore electricity distribution and transmission; decarbonisation of buildings and transport; and a “transition deal” for the upstream oil and gas industry.
  • The Energy White Paper represents a roadmap for future government policy: the detail will follow as concrete policies and regulatory frameworks are developed.

Interested in leading the change? 

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