Electricity Market Reform
The government’s controversial electricity market reform (EMR) programme has been dealt a serious blow with the resignation of the top civil servant working on the scheme, which aims to promote investment in energy infrastructure. The departure of Jonathan Brearley came as a leading energy analyst warned that it would be “imprudent” for ministers to rely on gas – including shale – to bail out the UK from a looming energy crunch. Brearley, director of energy strategy and futures at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), is leaving just as the EMR is moving through the legislative process via an energy bill. The EMR has already been at the centre of rows over whether its provisions to bring forward a lower-carbon Britain will succeed or are too complex and whether it will cost too much. Brearley did not turn up to a renewable energy conference in Scotland, where he was meant to be speaking on the EMR on Monday. Delegates to the event, organised by the Infrastructure Journal, were told the civil servant was not coming because he had left the department.