The UK is not on track to deliver climate and energy objectives at the pace required. This paper focuses on private investment and set out to review the mechanics of how the government secures a transparent, ‘investment grade’ delivery plan and crucially gets an early warning on barriers if investment is not occurring.

Increased urgency around implementation, notable gaps in UK energy infrastructure and a context of greater international competition for capital and supply chains are focusing attention on securing investment for the ‘net zero’ transition.

This is not only about confidence for the ecosystem of investors, but also investment confidence for policymakers and the public that plans are in place and are going to deliver and on a basis that is seen as fair.

This working paper provides a desk-based review of six departments and bodies looking at ‘who does what’, highlighting both observations and questions arising.

The focus is not on volumes of capital per se, rather where existing or new policy models assume private investment will arise, how confident are we that conditions are in place and working successfully, not least as multiple intersecting elements of the ‘build phase’ of the energy transition are in play.

Key findings

On the government side, compared to an earlier short mapping exercise:

  • There is now a matrix of different teams bringing in-house infrastructure and finance experience to government departments.
  • There is real-time project tracking in an expanded set of renewable and heat investment areas.
  • There are multiple different engagement forums in place or being started.

However, gaps remain, including:

  • A lack of clarity on co-ordination of, and coherence between, departmental approaches to investment and plans aiming to attract investment.
  • Inconsistent or limited transparency on assumptions, processes and risk assessments, including across investor and sector taskforces.
  • Unclear approaches to ‘early warning’ if investment is not arising as assumed, to enable course correction – a dynamic part of securing delivery.

As the CCC downgrades renewables progress and calls for an overarching plan for decarbonising the power sector, we need to ensure there are the right tools for the job alongside the necessary leadership.