On October 26, 2023, the UK’s Energy Act 2023 gained Royal Assent and was enacted to strengthen the UK’s long-term energy security and support affordable clean energy. The UK will become the first country to legislate for fusion regulation, which will foster the growth of the domestic fusion industry in support of the UK’s goal for a prototype fusion power plant by 2040.
“The Energy Act is the largest piece of energy legislation in a generation. It will boost investment in clean energy technologies and support thousands of skilled jobs across the country.” – Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho
The bill was introduced into the House of Lords in July 2022 and was preceded by the Energy Act 2013. The new laws will help deliver net zero by 2050, encompassing regulation for all energy activities. In particular, part 4 of the legislation covers the regulation of fusion facilities.
“As the world shifts its focus towards net zero, the energy sector needs long-term certainty to remain internationally competitive and attract private investment. This critical piece of legislation is a welcome step in delivering that confidence by establishing new business models, improved customer protections, and frameworks for investment across the energy sector.” – Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive of trade body Energy UK.
The FIA supports the UK’s efforts to ensure a risk-informed, specific regulatory framework for fusion as a big step toward fusion commercialization.