Category Archives: Energy policy

Brexit and energy

As the Brexit negotiations begin, we shouldn’t forget the impact they could have on existing and future energy policy in Scotland. An issue that got precious little attention during the referendum campaign. The UK currently operates within an EU wide regulatory framework, including the single electricity and gas market. Other directives cover energy services, security …

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Election 2017: Labour’s manifesto offers a radical shift in energy policy

Not for the first time, energy policy has received very little attention in this election campaign. In Scotland, key elements are reserved so you might expect a bit more attention to be paid to it, rather than debate devolved issues that MPs have no real say over. The Tories are not proposing any major changes …

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A progressive environment and energy policy from the Scottish Conservatives

The Scottish Conservatives have published an environmental and energy policy paper; ‘Global Challenges – Local Leadership’. It’s not what you might expect from a Conservative paper, in fact it has a broad range of proposals that many in the environment movement and energy sector could agree with. It’s mostly an environment paper, but it has …

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A better energy system is possible

Let’s imagine a different energy system. One that not only delivers clean decarbonised energy, but is increasingly local and run democratically in the interests of the people not big corporations. I have been at the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) conference looking at these very issues. TUED is a global, multi-sector initiative to advance …

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Draft Scottish Energy Strategy

The Scottish Government has set a 50% renewable energy target in its new draft energy strategy. The consultation paper highlights the huge huge shifts in electricity generation in recent years, following the closure of Longannet. There has been a big increase in new supply of renewable electricity.  However, that leaves Scotland with a different kind …

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Keeping the lights on

Keeping the lights on remains a controversial issue with competing views on short term capacity against long sustainable generation. A group of MPs in the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) argue that Britain could be facing nationwide festive blackouts next winter unless radical changes are made to the UK’s electricity network. They claim that UK government …

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Smart and flexible energy system?

There needs to be a radical rethink of the current energy system to squeeze out dirty fuels and accommodate emerging technologies.   That’s the conclusion of a recent Policy Exchange report that recommends the removal of several regulatory and policy barriers to create a level playing between cleaner and dirtier forms of electricity.   The …

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SNP and UK Labour energy plans

The Scottish Government’s plan for the coming year includes few surprises for the utilities sector. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also announces his new energy policy. Unsurprisingly, the focus is on low carbon energy provision with a new Energy Strategy for Scotland in 2017. One of the aims is to send signals to investors of …

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Abolishing DECC and climate change

One of the first acts of Theresa May as Prime Minister was to abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change and merge it into an expanded Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. There are differing views on the impact. The New Economic Foundation (NEF) argues it’s a bad idea along with most environmental …

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Public ownership through community energy

The main objection to bringing the electricity and gas industries back into public ownership is the cost to the taxpayer. A new report challenges that assumption and offers a new model. The report challenges a previous assertion by stockbroking firm Jefferies that the cost could be as high as £185 billion. It estimates that the …

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