To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to (a) provide support to Greater Manchester's 2038 carbon neutral target and (b) ensure that the regulatory framework supports net zero innovation and new technologies to help Distribution Network Operators meet increased consumer demand for low carbon energy sources.
The Local Energy Programme launched in 2017 is supporting Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the clean energy economy. BEIS has allocated £500k directly to Greater Manchester Combined Authority since 2017 to develop innovative business models (for decarbonisation) and public sector leadership (for climate change and zero carbon targets) in support of their 2038 target, which are then shared with other Local Authorities. We are currently working with Greater Manchester Combined Authority on innovative technologies and local energy market approaches to accelerate Manchester’s progress towards net-zero, and to make the city an international leader in the transition to clean energy systems
The regulatory price control for Distribution Network Operators is by law a matter for Ofgem, the independent energy regulator. Since the start of the last price control (RIIO ED1) in 2015, around £270m of innovation funding has been allocated to Distribution Network Operators, which is already supporting the move to net zero. In their Decarbonisation Action Plan (link to Plan here), Ofgem stated that they would be ‘reviewing the way our energy systems are managed to ensure they are fit for a net-zero future’. BEIS is working with Ofgem to ensure that Net Zero innovation and new technologies can assist network operators to meet increased consumer demand for low carbon energy sources.