Mid-term review: Is UK energy policy blowing hot and cold?
The UK’s coalition government this week reiterated its pledge to become the “greenest government ever” as part of the high-profile mid-term review. They were unsuccessful however in introducing any new policies to strengthen their environmental portfolio leaving green groups slightly disillusioned.
The 52-page review, issued by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister at Downing Street on Monday, does however include updates to policies already delivered by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) such as the introduction of the Energy Bill, the Green Investment Bank and the eagerly anticipated Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.
The review states: “Climate change is one of the gravest threats we face and we have to confront it. We promised to be the greenest government ever and we will fulfil that commitment.”
With £110bn of government investment expected by 2020 this is clearly a sentiment reflected in policy. Sceptics however argue that whilst these intentions seem honourable, policies designed to decarbonise the UKs energy sector are significantly undermined by competing policies to maximise shale gas drilling – a practise endorsed by Conservatives but opposed by Lib Dem MPs.
The UK is undoubtedly on the cusp of an energy revolution but whether this will lean towards renewables or shale fracking, we cannot currently predict. One thing’s for sure – we are certainly in for another bumpy two and a half years!
To find out more about UK energy and climate change policy please click here.