Yesterday Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd, set out her vision for the future of energy policy. She indicated that support may be given to offshore wind. What else lies ahead for the energy sector?
Unfortunately, the answer to that is by no means clear. Whilst Ms Rudd stated that the government will be consulting on its proposals to close coal-fired power stations by 2025, and restrict the use of coal by 2023, she went on to say that these changes would only be made if a shift to using gas can be achieved in these timescales.
The future of energy production seems, therefore, to be focussed on a change from coal-fired power stations to production from gas. Gas power stations still emit greenhouse gases and a move towards them seems to be a backwards step.
Why not support what Ms Rudd described as "our world leading offshore wind industry"? Her commitment to support this world leading industry came with the caveat that funding would only be made available for three auctions if the government's conditions on cost reduction are met. What was not addressed is how this industry, and other renewable technologies, are to remain "world leading" if they are not given government support in the short term.
So a glimmer of hope for offshore wind, but with conditions attached.
Contributor: Alexandra Holsgrove Jones
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