The Conservatives have promised to launch an independent review into the cost of energy if re-elected, as part of their 2017 general election manifesto. The manifesto was launched earlier today by Theresa May and makes a series of commitments, including a review to “ensure UK energy costs are as low as possible”. “We want to make sure that the cost of energy in Britain is internationally competitive, both for businesses and for households,” the manifesto states. It adds the Conservative ambition is that the UK should have “the lowest energy costs in Europe”. As previously reported, the document also contains a commitment to cap energy price rises.
Utility Week 18th May 2017 read more »
The Conservatives have pledged to maintain the UK’s climate change commitments through enhanced clean technology and energy efficiency funding, but the Party’s manifesto also proposes continued support for the North Sea oil and gas industry and an additional focus on fracking. The manifesto outlines a plan to “lead international action against climate change”, citing the importance of technologies such as battery storage and offshore wind to help the country meet its 2050 climate change targets to reduce emissions by 60% from 1990 levels. Friends of the Earth (FoE) has said the commitment sends a “strong message” to both Donald Trump and opponents of climate action in the UK. “The Conservatives have comprehensively rejected the siren voices calling for the UK to walk away from its international and domestic commitments to tackle climate change,” FoE campaigner Dave Timms said. But the decision to continue support for the North Sea oil and gas industry is likely to upset environmental groups, as will the commitment to develop fracking in the country. Green businesses hoping for a timescale on the delivery of either the UK’s proposed Clean Growth Plan and 25-Year Plan for the Environment will be left disappointed, with the former failing to receive a single mention in the document. Also missing from the text is a reference to the UK’s strategy to address illegal levels of air pollution. The manifesto dismisses the commercial viability of large-scale onshore wind, but offers support for offshore turbines, along with the development of projects in the remote islands of Scotland. The Tories will look to ensure almost every vehicle to be zero-emission by 2050, reaffirming the pre-election pledge to invest £600m on low-emission transport by the end of the decade.
Edie 18th May 2017 read more »
Shares in utility companies pushed higher on the London Stock Exchange after the Tories softened a pledge to introduce a price cap on standard variable tariffs, opting instead to launch an “independent review” into the price of energy bills.
Energy Voice 19th May 2017 read more »
The Tories say they want a “diverse” energy mix for to meet UK needs in the future. The political party claim a diverse energy economy is the best way to stimulate innovation, and also to ensure that we are getting the right generation in the right place. But Theresa May’s party then adds that they do not think large-scale onshore wind power is “right for England”. Instead the part wants to push offshore wind and support projects in “the remote islands of Scotland”. Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Corporate Officer, said: “Low cost onshore wind has a lot more to offer the UK, and we are hopeful that the Conservative Manifesto means that a new generation of onshore projects will be possible across Scotland. Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett expressed delight at the PM’s commitment to Scotland. He said: “As energy spokesman at Holyrood, I have met the Stornoway Trust and other stakeholders to discuss these plans and we have lobbied hard with the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy. “These projects can have real benefit for our island communities and I look forward to seeing these plans progress.” Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron, Conservative, also welcomed the plan. He added: “While the manifesto recognises the days of large-scale mainland wind farms are over, there is a place for wind power in a balanced energy approach, so long as those living in the area do not hold significant objections. “I have met many constituents, communities, and businesses, both in the Western Isles and at Holyrood, who have told me they want this to happen.
Energy Voice 19th May 2017 read more »
The Conservative party is expected to dilute the threat to energy suppliers with watered down plans to cap bills ahead of a fresh review into the rising cost of Britain’s electricity. The Tory party said its ambition is for Britain’s energy costs to be the lowest in Europe, and its manifesto included plans to reignite the shale industry by offering a bigger slice of a sovereign wealth fund to those who welcome local drilling.
Telegraph 18th May 2017 read more »
The Government needs to pick a good energy policy and stick to it, not launch another review. The Conservative manifesto has revealed that we are in for yet another review of the energy market after the election. Energy companies must feel flattered by all the attention. Competition in the industry was reviewed in 2014 and 2016. Now, thanks to Theresa May’s need to prove she is on the side of the angels, the Tories have promised “an independent review into the cost of energy”. Energy prices are rising, but the reason is no mystery. Like other Western countries, we are in the midst of a transition from highly polluting, carbon-emitting fuels to other sources of energy. This is expensive and that isn’t going to change any time soon unless the Government decides to give up on cleaner fuels, no matter how many reviews or studies it commissions.
Telegraph 18th May 2017 read more »
“A diverse energy mix We want to see a diverse range of sources for Britain’s energy production, because a diverse energy economy is the best way to stimulate innovation, and also to ensure that we are getting the right generation in the right place. For instance, while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities. Above all, we believe that energy policy should be focused on outcomes rather than the means by which we reach our objectives. So, after we have left the European Union, we will form our energy policy based not on the way energy is generated but on the ends we desire – reliable and affordable energy, seizing the industrial opportunity that new technology presents and meeting our global commitments on climate change.”
Conservative Manifesto 18th May 2017 read more »
The Liberal Democrat Party manifesto has been released, outlining a series of ambitious proposals to “build a greener economy” by establishing five new legislative pieces, including a law to deliver net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. At the heart of the Lib Dems plan to decarbonise the UK’s energy system lies a bid to pass a Zero-Carbon Britain Act which sets a legally-binding target to deliver net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. To achieve this ambitious target, the Party promises to establish a Britain Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to mobilise private sector investment in low-carbon infrastructure. The Lib Dems match Labour’s pledge to generate 60% of electricity from renewables by 2030, and promise to give the go-ahead for the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon. The manifesto also contains a commitment to invest in technologies such as energy storage, smart grids and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The Lib Dems oppose fracking but suggest that nuclear will play a role in the UK’s electricity supply. The Lib Dems pledge to make energy efficiency a top infrastructure priority. A new Green Buildings Act would include a plan for every home in England to achieve an energy rating of at least Band C by 2035. The manifesto also includes plans for expanded community energy schemes, and the restoration of a zero-carbon standard for new homes which would be extended to non-domestic buildings by 2022.
Edie 17th May 2017 read more »
Accept that new nuclear power stations can play a role in electricity supply provided concerns about safety, disposal of waste and cost are adequately addressed, new technology is incorporated, and there is no public subsidy for new build. Maintain membership of Euratom, ensuring continued nuclear co-operation, research funding, and access to nuclear fuels.”
Lib Dem Manifesto 17th May 2017 read more »
What the manifestos say about Climate and Energy.
Carbon Brief 18th May 2017 read more »