Grant Shapps will encourage energy chiefs to outline their plans to bolster the country’s supply security today, with the government pushing companies to meet their investment pledges to reduce the UK’s reliance on overseas oil and gas.
The energy security secretary will meet with some of the country’s major players at an energy summit in 10 Downing Street, including EDF, SSE, Shell and BP.
The sector has collectively pledged over £100bn of investment in in low and zero-carbon projects ahead of the government’s 2050 net zero target.
The roundtable is the latest announcement in the government’s unofficial energy security week, following the unveiling of 100 new oil and gas licences and carbon capture projects on Monday, as it looks to enhance the country’s investment climate.
Discussions are set to include an outline of the governments plan’s to boost the UK’s home-grown renewable supplies and nuclear power – following last week’s launch of industry vehicle GB Nuclear, and the current allocation round for offshore wind.
Shapps will also talk about the new powers the police have in order to clamp down on activism near critical energy infrastructure, following protests at the Kingsbury and Thurrock clusters of oil terminals and Grangemouth refinery.
The Public Order Act now includes a new criminal offence of interfering with key national infrastructure – including oil refineries – addressing tactics that these protesters have used such as locking on and tunnelling.
Shell and BP aim to invest £25bn and £18bn respectively in the UK energy system over the current decade, with 75 per cent intended for low and zero carbon projects.
Renewables specialist SSE have announced plans to invest £18bn up to 2027 in low carbon projects, which could see it cough up £40bn across the decade to 2031/32.
The National Grid meanwhile, has pledged a £16bn outlay in the five-year period to 2026, while EDF have outlined commitments to spend £13bn to 2025.
Shapps said: “We need to send the message loud and clear to the likes of Putin that we will never again be held to ransom with energy supply. The companies I am meeting in Downing Street today will be at the heart of that.”
Commenting on the latest powers for clamping down on protests he argued it was a “sad reality that we also need to protect our critical national infrastructure from disruptive protests.
“Today I’ll be setting out what we are doing to achieve this and want to hear from the energy companies the vital work they are doing in this area,” he said.