Projects to support the development of carbon-reducing sectors, such as hydrogen and heat pumps, will ‘sit at the heart’ of the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC’s) advice to government about future investment.
The NIC said it would focus on tackling ‘unanswered questions’ around the net zero transition, such as defining the limits of heat pumps for home heating, the role of hydrogen in heat, and the future of the gas grid. It has produced a report that prepares the way for the UK’s second National Infrastructure Assessment in 2023, which encourages all industries to make better use of digital technologies to cut costs and improve efficiency and resilience.
The report says there has been limited progress on the transition to low carbon heating for homes because of a ‘stop start’ approach to energy efficiency policy. The 2023 assessment will set out costed policy recommendations to government for investment in infrastructure over the next 10 to 30 years. The NIC will ‘explicitly’ consider the affordability of the investment, and how costs and savings will be spread between consumers and taxpayers.