New Regional Energy Strategic Planner role
15 Nov 2023 - 2 minute read
We are delighted that the Future System Operator (FSO) will be taking on a new role known as the regional energy strategic planner (RESP), as announced by Ofgem this week.
This new body will ensure energy networks are regionally coordinated across fuel vectors and between geographies, with the right level of local input into the process as well as regional democratic oversight.
How the RESP will improve regional strategic energy planning
Currently local energy network planning is conducted by local government, Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) and electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). When local and national energy networks are planned well, they can unlock local economies by creating new jobs and new sectors, however, they can often be developed in silos or without a true understanding of local needs.
We commissioned Public First, an independent research consultancy, to carry out engagement with representatives from institutions involved in the local network planning to understand how the system works for stakeholders today and where the gaps exist.
The report emphasised that there could be genuine and practical benefits for local communities and the country more widely if both regional and national energy network planning were more effectively aligned and planned across different fuel vectors and institutions. These benefits included more coordinated and efficient delivery of key local infrastructure projects, such as housing developments and business clusters across the country, leading to regional economic growth as well as improved environmental benefits.
New bodies to achieve regional decarbonisation
Ofgem has confirmed there will be up to 13 new bodies across Great Britain to work with local governments and local distribution and gas networks. We’re incredibly excited to be taking on this role and recognise that stakeholder engagement will be key to unlocking the benefits of integrated regional energy planning.
We will spend 2024 listening and engaging with local elected representatives to understand their energy targets and ways this new function can support them to achieve their goals, ensuring itis place-based and locally driven.
We’ve already begun ensuring we have the resources and capabilities to take on this new role and will be updating stakeholders in the new year as this new core team begins to take shape.