Future of the gas network: call for written evidence

 

Bright Blue is seeking written submissions of evidence for our research project on The future of the gas network. The report, to be published later in 2018, will be the first major policy paper of Bright Blue’s multi-year programme analysing the future of network industries. The written evidence Bright Blue receives will be an important part of our research for this project and will be published in the annex of our final report.

The gas network meets around 80% of the UK’s heating demand. But it will have to contribute to around a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by 2030 and their near-elimination by 2050, according to the Committee on Climate Change. The gas networks faces distinct challenges and opportunities from this decarbonisation. These changes will be more profound even than those when the gas network was privatised under a previous Conservative Government. 

The process of decarbonising the gas network raises two major policy issues: first, how to enable and accelerate the convergence of other networks and sectors with the gas network; and, second, how to encourage greater infrastructure investment while minimising short-term costs for consumers.

Especially considering the prominence of statist ideas such as an energy price cap and the renationalisation of the gas network, this research project is seeking to develop original, market-based policies that address these two major policy issues and realise an ambitious vision for the future of the gas network.

The key questions that we would like submissions for written evidence to answer are as follows:

  1. What are the primary trends and challenges currently affecting the UK’s gas network?
  2. What should be the key priorities and aims for reforming the UK’s gas network?
  3. How can the convergence of the gas network with other networks and sectors be enabled and accelerated?
  4. Which technologies provide the greatest potential for decarbonisation of heat, and how can they be better supported?
  5. What are the barriers to and opportunities for public and private investment in the upgrading of the gas network?
  6. How can the costs of gas for consumers be controlled and even reduced at the same time as upgrading the gas network?
  7. What policies should the Government reform or introduce to upgrade the gas network?

 

All submissions should be sent to Philip Box, Researcher at Bright Blue, on philip@brightblue.org.uk by 5pm on Friday 27th July, 2018. Submissions should be a maximum length of three pages. Please contact Philip Box if you have any questions.