Energy market limitations no excuse for inaction
23 Jul 2012
Energy union Prospect has said that while the government undoubtedly faces major challenges introducing an effective long-term energy policy, there are no excuses for further delays.
Commenting on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee's report -'Draft Energy Bill: Pre-Legislative Scrutiny,' - Prospect General Secretary Designate Mike Clancy said:
"The select committee is right to point out that the proposed reforms are complex and still lacking in vital detail. However there is nothing new about complexity in this sector - indeed it has long been a significant feature of the privatised electricity market.
"Arguments for much more radical reform that could simplify arrangements have some merit, and could include a more direct role for the state in investment decisions. However, parliamentarians have been debating energy policy for over a decade and the imperative now is for early action."
Clancy said the key requirement at this stage is for a framework that provides certainty and stability and therefore delivers investment.
"Prospect considers that the draft Energy Bill takes a pragmatic approach to the operation of Contracts for Difference and Final Investment Decision for new nuclear investment. We agree that particular attention should be paid to securing investment in carbon capture and storage and that measures to reduce energy demand should also be included in the bill.
"We also believe that the proposed role for National Grid is a logical extension of its existing experience and expertise as system operator. A new company would need a greater lead-in time and would still need to be subject to effective and transparent governance arrangements."
While the select committee concludes that it will be difficult but possible to produce a workable Energy Bill for the autumn, the union maintains that there is no room for failure or for delay.