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Future Energy - Challenges for the Regulator

The GPA E does not get involved directly with regulations, especially as these vary by country. However, as we move forward with decarbonisation, there are a number of counteracting drivers which make decision taking on Future Energy (renewable energy (wind/solar), nuclear, continued fossil fuel utilisation under controlled conditions, biomass and intermediates such as hydrogen) more complex and challenging. Scientists, economists, business managers and environmentalists often bring their own specialist knowledge to the table without having a wider appreciation of these challenges.

The paper will first briefly look at the existing energy market, then it will explore some of the new technologies which are being developed and review aspects such as customer acceptance, safety, delivery flexibility and resilience. It will conclude with an assessment of some of the factors which are required to be in place actually to deliver our future Energy Transition Plan, such as the availability of trained resources to deploy it and the ability to finance it!

The intention is to provide a broader picture for transition experts to consider before they inform Regulators and Policy Makers. The paper will conclude that there is no silver bullet for the Energy Transition and, if we are to achieve Net Zero, we will likely have to furrow multiple pathways, which will extend well beyond 2050, and we will need to maximise synergies between technologies. Frankly, Regulators and Policy Makers should not be looking at ‘either/or’, but ‘all’! Further, given the global reach of energy demands, many of these considerations must be addressed through international collaboration and standardisation.

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