Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Renewable energy in the UK - market positioning, supporting growth, and priorities for policy and regulation

Morning, Tuesday, 14th January 2020

Central London


This seminar will assess key current issues and next steps for the development of the UK renewable energy sector.

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss renewable energy in the context of:

  • The recent Five Year Review of the Capacity Market and its technical amendments report - confirming that barriers are to be reduced for renewable technologies in future auctions;
  • The Spending Round with commitments for publishing a net-zero emissions roadmap in the forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy expected for later this Autumn; and
  • Prospects for an Energy White Paper and UK policy for energy development, security, and decarbonisation.

Delegates will consider the steps needed to expand clean generation at scale, and how issues for deployment can be overcome, including:

  • Securing funding and investment for new capacity - looking at developing business cases, reducing production costs, and attracting private investment;
  • Measures for expanding established technologies like onshore wind and solar power - including the potential for new, Pot 1 Contracts for Difference auctions for established technologies, and addressing barriers in the National Planning Policy Framework that restrict onshore wind development; and
  • Bringing renewables further into the centre of the energy market, and the opportunities it can present - including diversity of supply, cleaner generation, and reduced costs for consumers.

With the Government having recently legislated a target for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, delegates consider priorities for mobilising a transition to clean energy, and the contribution of resources by stakeholders at enterprise, local and national levels. 

It also follows the release of the Offshore wind sector deal, and its measures for creating partnerships between government and industry - including an industry-led investment pool of £250m for supporting supply chains, UK parts and materials, competitive production and manufacturing, and boosting productivity.

We expect discussion on:

  • How regions across the UK can engage with renewable technology development, and the role of local government and enterprise partnerships in supporting local businesses, supply chains and innovation;
  • Priorities for access to local markets - economic incentives, local industrial strategies, and supporting trading at ports and other gateways; and
  • The role of industry and local stakeholders in developing technical skills and capabilities for operating energy technology and assets, such as offshore wind farms.

As increasing shares of intermittent, renewable energy capacity are integrated into the system, further sessions will consider what is needed across electricity networks and from regulation to address the challenges for developing a low-carbon infrastructure.

Discussion takes place with a range of developments in policy - delegates will assess measures for ensuring infrastructure is fit for purpose, including:

  • How regulatory barriers for renewable energy technologies can be reduced to improve grid access following the ongoing Government and Ofgem Energy Network Codes Review, its consultation, and the Targeted Charging Review - all seeking to make rules for smart and low-carbon energy integration easier;
  • The National Infrastructure Commission study on the future of energy regulation - with discussion anticipated around its review on investment and competition, and how this can develop preparedness for low-carbon technologies; and
  • Priorities for enabling renewables across the grid - flexibility, smarter technology, and integrating small-scale generation, following the Smart Export Guarantee Scheme, which offers local, user-specific tariffs for users of technology like solar power.

Keynote Speaker

Matthew Taylor

Head of CFD Design & Low-Carbon Technologies, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Keynote Speaker

Matthew Taylor

Head of CFD Design & Low-Carbon Technologies, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


Louise Goldsmith

Leader, West Sussex County Council

Natasha Hobday

Policy and Regulation Director, Shell Energy

Jeremy Sainsbury

Director, Natural Power

Andrew Clark

Energy Programme Lead, North East Local Enterprise Partnership

Dr Jeremy Leggett

Founder and Director, Solarcentury and Founder and Chair, SolarAid