Lecture Title: "In a time of energy transition and global uncertainty, what next for gas infrastructure?"
Five years ago this year, government legislated for the delivery of net zero emissions by 2050 subsequently publishing an Energy White Paper, a Net Zero Strategy and many other policies setting out how this was to be delivered. Since then we have had a pandemic, an energy crisis which in turn has fed into a cost of living crisis and geopolitical tensions continuing to increase globally. So while most people think that the transition to net zero will be good for the economy in the longer term, there is also no doubt about the importance that society places on resilience and affordability. This is a key year for onshore energy infrastructure with price control reviews underway for gas distribution and gas and electricity transmission. Joanna Whittington, former Director General, Energy and Security at BEIS and Partner for Markets at Ofgem will consider the implications of recent developments for gas infrastructure and its future.
Joanna has held roles in government, regulation, transport and energy sectors. She is currently a non-executive director at the Payment Systems Regulator and an independent non-executive director at SGN, which owns the gas distribution networks in Scotland and Southern England.
As Director General, Energy and Security at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) from 2018 until 2022, Joanna was at the heart of the Government’s plans to secure long-term supply and decarbonise the energy system. She spent 14 years at the energy regulator Ofgem from 1999.
As Ofgem’s Partner for Markets, she was responsible for regulation of the wholesale gas and electricity markets. She also oversaw economic regulation and competition at the rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, where she was initially Director of Markets and Economics from 2014 before becoming its Chief Executive in 2016.