1004 switchIt has been described as one of the most important bills of this parliament but the forthcoming Energy Bill has attracted strong opposing views both within the Coalition government and externally throughout industry, academia and the policy community.

Changing energy policy is crucial if the UK is to meet its low carbon targets, but if these challenges are to be properly addressed, then it is vital that the process of change is managed effectively.

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) is working with some of the UK’s leading energy policy experts to help us explore some of the major uncertainties in energy policy and explore various options for the optimum future energy system. Some of these experts have been voicing their own opinions towards the Energy Bill.

Professor Paul Ekins, leader of UKERC’s Energy Systems theme, has written an article for the Telegraph in which he highlights the extent to which the future energy system depends on technology and gas prices, and how unpredictable these are.

Read Paul’s article here.

Professor Catherine Mitchell shares her opinions in our latest policy newsletter. Here is what she had to say about the four primary mechanisms that have been put forward (the contract-for-difference feed-in-tariff, a rising carbon floor price, capacity payment mechanism and an emission performance standard) :

“They are complex, most will raise the price of electricity substantially, all have significant downsides, none seem likely to achieve their goal of delivering low carbon investment other than nuclear, and they have cheaper, less complex alternatives”.

Read Catherine’s full opinion piece here.

Responding to a recent statement made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change,  Dr Rob Gross, leader of UKERC’s Technology and Policy Assessment theme  pointed out:

“These reforms set out to make investment in UK energy more attractive. However the pace of the reform process has been slow and investors remain cautious… it is essential that the government creates a credible counterparty for contracts, ensures access for independent generators and reassures investors that Treasury rules won’t undermine the Bill’s long term contracts.”

Read Rob’s full statement here.

Whatever our experts may have to say about this contentious bill, the evidence taken by UKERC from liaising with key stakeholders warns of the Bill’s excessive complexity and lack of diversity.

What are your thoughts on the Energy Bill? Send us your comments.

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