Energy UK, the country's energy industry association, has appointed a new chief executive with a background in renewable energy amid an industry push towards cleaner energy sources.

Emma Pinchbeck will take on the top role as chief executive of Energy UK, joining from another trade body — RenewableUK — where she was deputy chief executive, a job she held for four years.

Prior to joining RenewableUK, she was head of the Climate Change team at environmental watchdog WWF-UK, a role in which she led a team campaigning on the Paris Agreement, on international aviation emissions, and on the UK’s coal phase out.

The appointment was made by the board of the association, which has a membership of over 100 suppliers, generators, and stakeholders with a business interest in the production and supply of electricity and gas for domestic and business consumers, including Shell, Centrica and EDF Energy.

Announcing the appointment, chairman of Energy UK, Lord Hutton said: “Emma will bring experience, expertise and a passion for working towards a net zero carbon energy sector, which is essential if we are to meet the future challenges we face both as an industry, and a country.

“It is an exciting time in the energy sector, with rapid change being seen in both the retail market and the power sector, and with new innovative products and services which are transforming the way customers interact with the market,” Lord Hutton said.

Pinchbeck added: “The rapid innovation and technological advances in recent years mean that it is no longer necessary to compromise to get affordable, green and reliable power, and that is fantastic news for the UK economy and for British households.

“The energy transition is not a niche green movement but an economic shift at the heart of our energy system, and Energy UK members have shown global leadership in meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities of this new market.

“As chief executive of Energy UK, I will be in a position to support them as the transition gathers pace and, with my track record of working on climate change, I look forward to bringing my experience to help our members to achieve their decarbonisation ambitions - particularly in the year that the UK government will host COP26 in Glasgow,” Pinchbeck said.

Pinchbeck will take over from Audrey Gallacher, who held the interim chief executive role since the departure of previous boss Lawrence Slade in December.

Following a period of maternity leave, Pinchbeck will take up the post of chief executive in July on a part-time basis, ahead of starting full-time in September.