Ecotricity logotype
/Our news/2021/National energy takes a step into the green age

Our news

Article tags
Article tags
  • energy
  • news
Browse archives
Our news

National energy takes a step into the green age

Press enquiries

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact our Press Office on 01453 761 318 or you can email

For all other general enquiries, please call 01453 756 111 or email

By Christopher Appleby
May 28, 2021
National Planning Policy

Since March 2020, our founder, Dale Vince, has been working with George Monbiot and the Good Law Project to get the government to review the UK’s Energy National Policy Statements (Energy NPSs) – this is the country’s national planning policy for energy.

Just over a year later, in April 2021, we got the news we wanted to hear – the government have accepted our argument and a wide-ranging policy review is underway with the potential to do great things for green energy.

Why is national planning policy important?

As well as setting the policy and decision-making framework for all nationally significant energy projects, the NPSs also have a big influence on other energy projects. They’re vitally important because they set the playing field for prioritising and building different types of energy generation.

Up to now, the planning system has been stacked against renewable energy. Right from the start, it was the only energy technology that relied on district councils for planning permission – all other kinds were approved by central government. This made it uniquely vulnerable to local planning decisions. On top of this, the Cameron government changed planning regulations to effectively outlaw onshore wind.

Why did action need to be taken?

The current energy policy was created in 2011 and is outdated. Since then we’ve had the Paris Accord (2016), as well as 2019’s commitment to reach net zero carbon as a country by 2050.

In Article 4 of the Paris Accord we committed ourselves as a country to 'reaching peak fossil emissions as soon as possible and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter’ – something that just isn’t reflected in our current national planning policy for energy.

Instead, we need a forward-thinking policy that helps get us from 33% renewable electricity today to 100% as quickly as possible. Our current policy is holding back new renewables and still allowing new fossil fuel projects to happen. It’s totally at odds with what we need to do to fight the climate crisis.

That’s why we took action, to get the UK government to review the policy in the light of everything that’s happened in the past 10 years.

A great result for green energy

The result of our action is really good news for renewable energy and for faster progress towards a green Britain. As Dale Vince said, when the review was announced:

“We’ve been pursuing the government in respect of National Planning Policy for Energy for about a year now arguing it’s not fit for purpose (since it was written 10 years ago and favours fossil fuels - incredibly)

“And in the last few days we’ve made real progress - in fact I think it’s fair to say we’ve won the argument. 

“A review of energy policy is underway. There’s going to be a wide ranging assessment of potential impacts of proposed new policy, and a public consultation - and all government climate policy, like net zero by 2050 and even Boris Johnson's ten point plan, are in scope, as in they will guide this new planning policy. A fab piece of joined up thinking, at last.

“Meanwhile we’re pressing on with the challenge to National Aviation policy on the same grounds, it’s out of date - and the government have just asked us for 3 more days to give us their answer. 

“I think they will concede this point too, especially given the new position on including UK Aviation emissions in our own carbon targets - finally.

“Lots of good progress it seems, it’s taken some legal pressure to get here, maybe the government would have got here anyway, maybe not. 

“Who cares? Here is where we need to be.”

Read more from Dale on his Facebook page, or at

Green energy is winning the argument at every level. Switch to Ecotricity and we’ll use your bill money to invest in new sources of renewable energy and build a greener Britain.

Switch today

Similar articles

Ecotricity & Ecovision team up to support multi-site solar generators

Ecovision are a specialist in the solar PV space and have installed over 5000 rooftop systems, with their asset management and O&M team now overseeing more than 12,000 installations


Why should I get a smart meter?

Smart meters send meter readings from your house direct to your energy supplier, so you don’t need to answer the door to a meter reader and your readings are always up to date, so you can wave goodbye estimated bills.

Our Latest Green Projects

We’re always conscious of this fact, that it’s our customers who make all this possible. We have a responsibility to choose projects that will make the biggest impact in creating a green Britain.

Get the book!

Manifesto out now


Our founder Dale Vince shares his thoughts on the green revolution

Explore the site

Don’t just take our word for it…

Ecotricity is recommended by
  • Our story
  • Our mission
  • Our manifesto
  • 25 years of Ecotricity
  • Ecotricity innovation
  • Walking the talk
  • Our partners
  • Our news
Ecotricity logotype

Climate Clock

The Climate Clock is a version of the Doomsday clock that has been running since 1947 - this tracks the risk of global man-made disaster, through man made technology (like nuclear weapons) - displaying the minutes and seconds left before midnight, when disaster strikes. The climate crisis is a small part of the calculations made.
The climate clock uses a similar approach, but, focuses only on the climate crisis - which is the biggest and most urgent existential threat we face.
"The Climate Clock is a countdown to the biggest man-made disaster we face - but also a measure by which we can track our progress - moving from fossil to renewable energy. It shows we have no time to lose - the clock is ticking…" Dale Vince, OBE.
Ecotricity is a sponsor of the Glasgow Climate Clock that will run every night until COP26.