The impact of Covid-19 presents an unprecedented opportunity for the energy sector to help transform the UK economy for the better, according to an industry body.
EnergyUK said the pandemic had disrupted the entire energy value chain from generation to retail but has also given an insight into the energy system of the future and the impact on production and consumption trends.
Measures called for in a report compiled in partnership with PwC include incentivising the electric vehicle market by increasing grants and investing in charging infrastructure, driving the development of greater use of flexibility and a national energy efficiency programme.
Janine Freeman, PwC’s new energy leader, said Covid-19 has led to significant changes to working practices, customer behaviour and demand for technology.
“The crisis has also made us think differently about the way we live and the world we want to live in. And the energy industry sits right at the heart of this possible new future. There is now a golden window of opportunity for the industry to transform service models, develop new products and services in response to a greater focus on technology and sustainability, and to strengthen their relationships with customers."
Audrey Gallacher, Energy UK’s interim chief executive, said: “Our industry stands ready to build further on the £14 billion it already invests every year to power our economic recovery and help meet the net zero target.”
Meanwhile, system operator National Grid ESO has set out the policy areas it sees as vital for a green recovery and said it was ”crucial that net zero is hard-wired into any plans”.