The Government’s department responsible for energy and climate change has been seen to produce a number of statements in recent months that, on the face of it, sweep away commitments to renewables and pave the way for nuclear and fracking solutions.
To its credit, the UK Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Committee has launched three inquiries into the Conservative Government’s track record on the low-carbon economy and potential policy options going forward. The Committee’s Chairman, Lord Deben, recently wrote to The Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to request further clarity about the direction of UK low-carbon policy.
The UK’s ability to meet carbon budgets at least cost depends on firms and households making long-term investments and decisions based on how they think UK policy will unfold over a 10-15 year period. From that perspective, the announcements potentially present problems as the cumulative impression has been of a weakening of the policy framework.
The final consultation of a three pronged approach will be dedicated to looking into the country’s energy infrastructure, including decentralised energies such as district heating and combined heat and power.