Goodbye BEIS hello net zero!
Earlier today, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that the former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will be split into three – energy security and net zero, business and trade and science, innovation and technology.
Mr Sunak suggested the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has the potential to secure long-term energy supply and bring bills down.
But how did the energy industry respond to the announcement?
The Energy Institute’s External Affairs Director Nick Turton FEI, who was part of the team that set up the previous Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2008, said: “Energy security and net zero is the right mandate for our times. The big question is whether this is simply moving deckchairs around or putting real clout where it’s needed. At its inception, DECC was insurgent and its various Secretaries of State, managed to use its political capital to challenge colleagues around the Cabinet table.
“Success for the new Department in terms of energy security and the transition to net zero will be heavily dependent on decisions taken elsewhere in Whitehall and also in devolved and local levels of government.
“It needs to wield influence over treasury spending, planning and building policy, farming and land use – and of course back into trade and industry policy.”
Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology, said: “An energy department with a focus on net zero is welcome, as long as the government now hits the ground running and avoids the usual delays while new departments are established.
“Decision making in the sector has already been woefully delayed over the last few years and a joined-up approach across these new departments is essential, as well as implementing the recommendations from Chris Skidmore’s Net Zero Report “Mission Zero”, which clearly stated that “net zero is the largest growth opportunity of the 21st century.”
The author of the Net Zero Review Chris Skidmore touted the creation of the new department “welcome news”. Mr Skidmore said: “A clear sign that the government is aware of the increasing importance of coordinated net zero delivery as a priority.”
Tim Eggar, Chair of the North Sea Transition Authority and Former Energy Minister, said: “This is truly terrific news for the UK’s energy security and the transition to net zero.
“We look forward to working with the Secretary of State and ministers in this and other departments to drive down emissions, deliver cleaner domestic energy and support a thriving industry.”