Friday 15 July 2016

The unfolding events since the Referendum result have been hard to comprehend and of course the real implications will only be visible in years to come. I was contemplating writing a piece summarizing my views on the Brexit vote but like with other major, world changing events, it is taking longer to work out what I really want to say. I was also trying to avoid the “Brexit means this for energy/environmental policy” type of piece which we have all been deluged with in the last week. I have given up reading most of these as I think the bottom line is we don’t actually know what it means and most of them are “click bait”. However the splurge of items on the demise of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has pushed me into print.

Clearly, as with everything else, it is too early to tell what the implications are going to be but I actually think it could be a positive move because it may focus attention more on the energy demand side than the supply side. Let’s not forget, the real origin of DECC and in fact Departments of Energy in nearly all countries is the energy industry. In the UK and the USA more than 50% of the energy department’s budgets are tied up in nuclear issues. In fact according to one analysis 95% of DECC’s budget went on nuclear clean up.

Also DECC was always dominated by supply side thinking with little real appreciation of the demand side. Even to this day there has never been a real bottom-up demand side modeling exercise to work out what energy supply we need. All modeling is supply side dominated – usually based on selecting a set of favoured technologies. Also the energy industry has people in and out of DECC all the time, ranging from regular meetings to full-time secondments. The energy efficiency industry has never been able to get equal billing – it only had its first short-term secondee into DECC a few years back which was a novel experience for both the industry and DECC!

Also if you haven’t read the UK ACE report “Corruption of Governance” before read it to get a good idea of how things work.

We need to move from energy policy driven by what the supply industry wants (including the renewables industry) to an energy policy that starts from what the real demand for energy is (and could be) – what do we need and how do we manage demand through energy efficiency and distributed generation and storage. At least if energy is part of Business and Industry there is a hope, and it is only a hope at the moment, that the demand side may get better recognition.

I may come up with some specific recommendations soon but right now I am distracted by the terrible events unfolding in Nice. On energy policy at least I am always optimistic but delivery is everything.


Comments are closed.

Dr Steven Fawkes

Welcome to my blog on energy efficiency and energy efficiency financing. The first question people ask is why my blog is called 'only eleven percent' - the answer is here. I look forward to engaging with you!

Get in touch

Email Twitter Linkedin Skype

Email notifications

Receive an email every time something new is posted on the blog

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency by Steven Fawkes

My book Energy Efficiency is available to buy now

Outsourcing Energy Management

Outsourcing Energy Management by Steven Fawkes

My book Outsourcing Energy Management is available to buy now

Only Eleven Percent