PLMR’s Week Ahead in Westminster: 24th July 2015

What impact will the new government's environmental and energy policies have?

Five years ago David Cameron made the pledge that the previous government would be the ‘greenest ever’. While some may say he never really fulfilled this promise, the early days of this parliament suggest that out of coalition the Tories will pursue an even less green agenda.

This claim has been supported by the removal of subsidies for renewable energies, like onshore wind.

If not the greenest ever, then how will this government approach the environment and energy policy?

To find out we spoke to Michael Grubb, Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy at UCL, and Henry Evans, ICIS’ reporter for the UK power market.

We ask Michael:

What impact will this government’s energy policies have?

Michael says the early impact has caused some concerns for the renewable energies sector.

In terms of creating a secure energy supply, how can innovation be spurred?

According to Michael, some of the larger areas of the industry – such as nuclear – a lot of money would be required to drive innovation. For smaller industries, like renewables, it’s about building customer confidence.

Will climate change be put on the national government’s agenda?

Michael says the forthcoming Paris conference on climate change will restructure the global effort and will be more successful the Copenhagen conference which failed six years ago.

We ask Henry:

What implications will the government’s cuts in subsidies to renewable energies have?

Henry says that in the short term it’s caused uncertainty but many projects which already have funding will go ahead. In the longer term, it could damage investment in the sector.

What are the key issues facing the government?

Henry says there is a “trilemma” of issues – reducing costs, ensuring security of supply and reducing the carbon footprint.

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