UK Energy Policy The Next Ten Years -Industry mandarins Provide a Clear Vision – NOT A Chance
The UK Government has spent years putting its UK-wide subsidy framework for energy in place, so is not about to abandon it, for all the reasons set out in the ‘no’ campaign. Yet critics of the wind industry say that is exactly what should happen. But even if such calls go unheeded there could be less drastic changes. “We would note that there is still a risk that certain areas of energy policy could be included in the further powers that are to be devolved from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament,” analysts at Citigroup said.
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables: “it is important that both governments return to working together to meet the incredibly important challenges facing our country, such as tackling climate change and growing the economy. Renewables can make a significant contribution to both. “Scottish Renewables is calling for a new joint Scottish and UK Government energy policy that balances the interests of Scotland within a single GB energy market; a more open and accountable energy regulator; our islands connected up to the grid and coordinated investment by the UK and Scottish Governments to support our flourishing marine energy sector.”
John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation (REF): “English and Welsh consumers cannot now be expected to go on propping up the freeloaders of the Scottish renewables industry through income support and the socialisation of grid and system management costs, for example the now notorious constraint payments. “We have alternative and competitive low carbon energy sources, including high load factor offshore wind, a major build of combined cycle gas generation, and, provided that it is not subsidised through Contracts for Difference, nuclear. The current situation is not sustainable and a new balance will have to be struck.”
Infinis Energy: Preservation of an integrated UK energy market and the UK-wide applicability of the RO-legislative framework in support of continued investment in renewable energy is necessary.”
Tony Ward, Head of Power & Utilities at EY UK & Ireland: The established dynamic in the energy markets needs to continue its current course. “The UK markets have developed ever-closer and more integrated systems and ways of operating that serve to reduce, then smooth, the cost burden across all users. This also enables investment choices to be made on system-wide merit and help achieve a degree of energy security that can often be taken for granted.
Emily Gosden, Energy Editor: While proposals for further devolution are as yet unclear, Holyrood appears unlikely to be handed complete control of energy matters. However, there are already calls from Scottish renewables groups for Holyrood to have a greater say in determining energy policy, while critics of renewables say Scotland should be forced to pick up more of the costs of the costs and liabilities that are currently shared across the entire UK market in it’s drive for wind farms.
Sir Ian Wood: Made it very clear substantial reforms and more tax breaks were needed to help the industry. It is expected his suggestions will be taken up by the UK government in next year’s Budget. The Government will want to prove its stewardship credentials and hope to secure investments in a number of North Sea projects that are currently on hold amid concerns about rising costs. The “Wood Report” which examined and pronounced upon the remaining potential of the North Sea, identified that the true scale of untapped reserves would be very limited and insufficient for long term planning. Funds would need to be put in place soon to meet the signifcant cost of tax relief for decommissioning the North Sea
Ian McLelland, Edison Investment Research: “Much needed capital injections to some of the smaller cap North Sea oil and gas explorers will move a step closer – via mergers and acquisitions or capital raising on public markets,”
Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell: “Shell will continue to work closely with both the UK and Scottish governments to help the industry deliver vital energy supplies through investment in the UK’s oil and gas resources. We look forward to continuing our proud association with Scotland.”
BP: “The North Sea is important to BP and we expect to be an active participant in the oil and gas industry in Scotland for years to come. BP will continue to work closely with both the UK and Scottish Governments to realise our shared ambition of maximising economic recovery from the North Sea.”
Malcolm Webb, chief executive, Oil & Gas UK: “To safeguard the industry’s future, it is particularly important that that the government presses swiftly ahead with fiscal reform as well as the implementation of Sir Ian Wood’s recommendations to maximise the economic recovery of our oil and gas resource.”