Anyone who has read anything that IGov has produced over the last 6 years knows that we argue that GB energy governance, of which energy policy is one part, is not fit for purpose. And on this day of striking schoolchildren and students, it increasingly seems to me that it is not just our infrastructure, regulation, policy and markets which are unfit for purpose but the really big problem is that Britain does not seem to be addressing the major energy policy issues related to reducing greenhouse gases emissions of decarbonising electricity by 2030; heat by 2040 and mobility by 2050 (and with these targets already under review for the Paris 1.5 degrees). The ‘big’ questions to answer in order to become net zero by 2050 are: how to deliver a country wide building transformation; what to do about the gas network; what to do about equity and customer protection issues; how to transform to electric vehicles; how to coordinate a decentralised, decarbonised and digitalised energy system; how to connect to people in such a way that they provide meaningful consent to all this change, pay for it, and become part of it in their everyday lives. There seems to me to be an increasing gap in three areas: a gap in the perspective between those who have the ability to do something practical and make a difference – Government, the Regulator and politicians and those who are trying to make those changes happen: the NGOs, the young, some academics etc who want much more change and quicker; a gap in what is being argued for and what science tells us we should be arguing for if we are to keep to a 1.5 degree warming world – and this implies a self-constraint by those who argue; and a widening gap between the big picture requirements and fundamental goals of a society that keeps policy on track to reflect society’s wishes and the detailed, day to day often siloed policy discussions which take place – which implies that the big picture direction is not transferring to detailed policy implementation, and as a result the latter is becoming more directionless and less stringent than it needs to be.
IGov 15th Feb 2019 read more »