Over the last few weeks, new possibilities have been injected into the energy policy debate, and now is the time to forge a progressive UK energy vision. Theresa May, our Prime Minister, said in her inaugural speech: ‘’We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you.’’ A few days later, she set out the principles of her economic policy, one dimension of which included industrial policy: ‘“We need to reform the economy to allow more people to share in the country’s prosperity. We need to put people back in control of their lives’’. Two (Clark and Hurd) of the new ministers have energy and climate experience and both are thought to be bright, interested and progressive – a welcome occurrence. More recently, the decision to review Hinkley Point C (HPC) means that energy policy in GB has suddenly opened up. At the same time, we have the National Infrastructure Commission consulting on the merits of a National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA), which would presumably lead to a national infrastructure plan, to include energy infrastructure – and will somehow link to an industrial strategy? We have also had a CMA inquiry which has largely sunk without trace, but which will require certain changes to be implemented. This is not to say that suddenly GB energy policy is great. Business Green recently had a great blogabout the political and technical realities that the incoming Ministers (Baker, Hurd and Neville – Rolfe) will have to deal with – pointing out (and this is my wording / interpretation) that many of the dimensions of a sensible, cost-effective energy policy have recently been dumped by the Government; that those issues which have been championed by Government are either unlikely to help decarbonisation goals (fracking), or will not work in time, if at all (nuclear); or have not worked / not worked as well as they should have (energy efficiency policy).
IGov 8th Aug 2016 read more »