The UK and the energy transition

Leading the way?

The energy landscape is ever-shifting and geopolitical events have shone a particular spotlight on the UK’s energy system. The age-old energy trilemma is in very sharp focus as the UK looks to decarbonise its energy sources, whilst ensuring security of supply and affordability of energy use.

To drive industry conversation and to help our clients and other key stakeholders to understand better how well the UK is performing in its energy transition, Womble Bond Dickinson commissioned a report from Cornwall Insight, with the aim to bring global energy leaders together to debate the challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector.

The report offers global context, analysis of different energy markets and expert insights which shine a light on the UK’s progress in the energy transition.

Throughout the research period for this report, new variables continued to be thrown into the mix – the impact of the invasion of Ukraine, gas supply concerns and new legislation and political strategies were just some of the developments which are typical of the pace at which the energy landscape changes.

We draw on lessons from around the globe and it becomes increasingly clear that the journey to net zero must be a collaborative one. The UK is well placed to play a key role in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions over the coming decades. The UK is a world leader in areas such as offshore wind, and it is now – after years of delay – forging ahead in carbon capture and storage and hydrogen, but it can still learn much from countries worldwide as the energy transition accelerates.

Download our energy transition insight paper

"Concerns around energy security and international tensions have brought to the fore issues related to energy equity in the UK’s net zero transition." 

Since 2014, Contracts for Difference (CfD) have been awarded to over  


of new renewable electricity capacity, 13GW of which is offshore wind.

2016 > 2020


onshore wind farm applications for new or extended sites were submitted in England.

CfD has helped to facilitate the reduction of technology costs in wind; the price per unit of offshore wind fell by around


between the first allocation round in 2015 and the third in 2019.

"It is critical that the UK learns from early oversights in offshore wind where local content percentages were insufficient."

"The possibilities are very much there for electrolytic hydrogen to play a role in industrial decarbonisation."

"While increasing power generation capacity for renewables is essential, equal impetus needs to be given to ramping up energy storage."

"Swift action needs to be taken now to help position the UK as a leader in emerging technologies."