Regulation & Resilience

Effective policies and regulation are needed to help infrastructure sectors to prepare for an uncertain future.

Updated:

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Summary

To ensure the UK’s infrastructure is prepared for the major challenges of the future – such as the impacts of climate change and population growth - those planning and running key systems and services need clear policy direction and long term objectives. They also need to work within a regulatory system that supports these aims.

This is particularly important when it comes to further enhancing the resilience of our vital infrastructure.

For instance, by 2050, £9 billion a year will be invested in the energy sector to achieve net zero emissions – while £0.9 billion will need to be spent on drought resilience. Investment on this scale, supported by bill payers, requires an evolution of the UK’s policy and regulatory framework. The Commission has undertaken two major studies covering this area: Strategic investment and public confidence and Anticipate, React, Recover: Resilient infrastructure systems.

In January 2022 the Government published a policy paper in response to the recommendations the Commission made in its  regulation study. This committed the Government to issuing additional strategic guidance to regulators, reviewing their duties and exploring using competition for strategic investments, in line with the Commission’s report.

Improving the resilience of infrastructure to the impacts from climate change is one of the strategic themes which will shape the Commission’s work in the second National Infrastructure Assessment, due out in 2023.

Our Baseline Report confirms that the Commission will undertake projects addressing two key challenges related to this theme:

  1. how better asset management can support resilience, barriers to investment, and the role of data and technology in maintaining existing assets
  2. a study on reducing the risks from surface water flooding and reducing water pollution from drainage.

More information on the surface water flooding study can be found here.

Along with our related work, such as on financing nuclear projects, we seek to chart how government, regulators and relevant sectors might create the best environment to enable market-led solutions for securing sustainable and reliable infrastructure which addresses the UK’s future needs.

Regulation & resilience data

Data sets relating to infrastructure regulation and resilience are available to review on our Data pages.  The data can be reviewed online or downloaded.

Review data

Latest Updates

James Heath’s speech to Utility Week Live: climate adaptation and resilience
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James Heath’s speech to Utility Week Live: climate adaptation and resilience

The Commission’s Chief Executive, James Heath, today (17 May 2022) gave a keynote address at Utility Week Live on climate adaptation and resilience. The session, held at the Birmingham NEC, explored utilities’ approaches to adaptation planning and how they are seeking to build resilience to respond to the impacts of climate change already present, as...

17 May 2022 By
NIA2 Baseline Charts
Images from the Baseline Report

NIA2 Baseline Charts

Data from the Baseline Report providing an overview of the current performance of the infrastructure sectors within the Commission's remit

16 Mar 2022
Infrastructure Progress Review 2022
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Infrastructure Progress Review 2022

Our annual assessment of the government's progress on implementing its commitments on infrastructure.

16 Mar 2022
Commission highlights “slow progress” on infrastructure plans to deliver levelling up and net zero goals
Group of images reprepsenting different infrastructure sectors

Commission highlights “slow progress” on infrastructure plans to deliver levelling up and net zero goals

The government is at risk of failing to deliver the aims of its National Infrastructure Strategy unless it picks up the pace with detailed policy design and implementation, the UK’s official independent infrastructure adviser has warned.  The National Infrastructure Commission says that clear, long term goals are now in place across most infrastructure areas and...

16 Mar 2022 By
Commission calls for “real policy changes” on utilities regulation
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Commission calls for “real policy changes” on utilities regulation

The government has today (31 January 2022) published a policy paper in response to the Commission’s 2019 study on regulation, Strategic Investment and Public Confidence. This study highlighted that, whilst the current system of regulation had generated significant investment over the past decades, it was increasingly facing new challenges that it was not designed to...

31 Jan 2022 By
Regional water plans a positive step towards drought resilience for England
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Regional water plans a positive step towards drought resilience for England

Commitments by water companies to take action together to secure long term water supplies for consumers and businesses in England have been welcomed by the Commission as an important step towards achieving long term resilience to drought. Consultations are now underway on new draft water resource management plans by the five regional water resources groups....

18 Jan 2022 By
Frank debate on costs and expectations needed to prepare infrastructure for climate change
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Frank debate on costs and expectations needed to prepare infrastructure for climate change

A public debate needs to be held on the right level of investment that today’s consumers and taxpayers can be expected to pay to prepare key national infrastructure for climate risks of the future, the Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission has told a Parliamentary committee. Sir John Armitt told MPs and Peers that on...

14 Dec 2021 By
National Infrastructure Assessment
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National Infrastructure Assessment

An analysis of the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next thirty years.

15 Nov 2021
Commission pinpoints strategic gaps in infrastructure planning ahead of next landmark national assessment
Images from the Baseline Report

Commission pinpoints strategic gaps in infrastructure planning ahead of next landmark national assessment

The National Infrastructure Commission has announced the topics that will sit at the heart of its next major assessment of the UK’s long term infrastructure priorities, to be published in 2023, following analysis of the current performance of key sectors. The priorities will include identifying the infrastructure needed for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage...

15 Nov 2021 By
Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report
Images from the Baseline Report

Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report

Our analysis of the performance of key infrastructure sectors which will inform the work leading to the UK's second National Infrastructure Assessment

15 Nov 2021
Government accepts Commission’s recommendations for better resilience
London's flood barrier on river Thames and Canary Wharf

Government accepts Commission’s recommendations for better resilience

The government has today (15 September 2021) published its formal response to the Commission’s 2020 study on resilience, Anticipate, react, recover – Resilient infrastructure systems. This study called for a new framework for resilience which anticipates future shocks and stresses; improves actions to resist, absorb and recover from them by testing for vulnerabilities; values resilience...

15 Sep 2021 By
Climate resilience focus welcomed in proposed water strategic policy statement
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Climate resilience focus welcomed in proposed water strategic policy statement

The National Infrastructure Commission has welcomed aspects of the draft Strategic Policy Statement for Ofwat, published today (22 July 2021). The statement sets out the government’s strategic priorities and expectations for Ofwat’s regulation of the water sector in England. Giles Stevens, Director of Policy at the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “Strategic policy statements play an...

22 Jul 2021 By
Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission
Montage of images representing infrastructure, including a woman charging an electric vehicle and a man wearing a mask using public transport

Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission

Detailed plans for decarbonising energy supply, accelerating the roll out of electric vehicle charge points and connecting hard to reach areas with high capacity broadband are among the next steps needed to ensure government can deliver its aims for levelling up and meeting the net zero target, according to the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission’s...

17 Feb 2021 By
Annual Monitoring Report 2021
Montage of images representing infrastructure, including a woman charging an electric vehicle and a man wearing a mask using public transport

Annual Monitoring Report 2021

Our annual assessment of the government’s progress in delivering infrastructure projects and programmes recommended by the Commission.

17 Feb 2021
Principles for setting levels of service
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Principles for setting levels of service

21 Jul 2020

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