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Chris Skidmore Launches A Net Zero Review

On Monday 26th September 2022, nearly a year after the publication of the UK’s net zero strategies, the UK government launched an independent review into the delivery of these commitments.

The review, named the Skidmore Review, will run until the end of 2022, and be conducted by former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore. It aims to ensure the delivery of our 2050 net zero targets, make sure that the delivery maximises the UK’s economic growth, and increase our energy security and affordability for consumers and businesses.

With these aims in mind, the review will seek to identify:

  • The costs and benefits of emerging policies and technologies.
  • The most economically efficient and pro-business path to net zero.
  • How to utilise the opportunities present, such as innovation, investments, exports, and job creation.

Mr Skidmore has said that to achieve this, he will be talking with consumers, investors, industry leaders, and experts in various fields including energy, land, and transport. He has also said that he will be holding a “series of roundtables across the country, seeking as many views as possible”.

During the government’s official launch of the review, Skidmore stated:

The review seeks to ‘double down’ on how we can ensure that our energy transition happens at the same time as maximising the economic opportunity for businesses and households across the country, providing huge opportunities for innovation, investment, export and jobs.”

The review comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as various other worldwide economic factors, have seen the price of energy skyrocket this year. Concerns have been raised that government efforts to find gas and energy within the UK to circumvent approaching supply problems will lead to a potential deprioritization of green energy in favour of fossil fuels. These worries were escalated further when Liz Truss lifted the UK ban on fracking as one of her first acts as Prime Minister in an attempt to limit the rise in energy bills.

However, Skidmore, speaking in the opening keynote for BusinessGreen’s Net Zero Festival on the 29th of September, launched a public call for evidence to help inform his review and clarified that there would be “no rowing back” on the commitments.

So, I make this pledge to you,” he stated. “There will be no undoing of any of the existing Net Zero Strategy. There will be no rowing back on any of the targets that have been set out by the government. Instead, there is an opportunity to reframe them, not as a challenge or a burden to people, but to make the positive case for change through creating new incentives to achieve that change.”

Regarding the review, Dan McGrail, Chief Executive at RenewableUK, has said:

Cheap, clean energy is fundamental to growing new high-value technologies, decarbonising the UK’s industrial base, and boosting exports.

Whether it’s building up the supply chain for the £175 billion of planned investments in wind energy or developing a globally competitive green hydrogen sector, there are huge opportunities to further grow the UK’s economy as we cut our dependence on fossil fuels.”

We will continue to monitor the progression of this review and its results at the end of the year. Make sure to stay connected with the news page on our website and our LinkedIn for news and insights into the Renewables industry.

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