Welcome everyone, to the Energy Institute (EI)’s inaugural blog posting. In my role as President, I’m looking forward to hearing views and opinions about what’s going on at the EI and the broader energy industry. But, as a seasoned blogger, I am delighted to launch the EI’s blog and hope it becomes a ‘must-read’ in time to come.
I have spent some time now in the industry – a quarter of a century to be precise – the word that springs to mind when I describe how things work is interconnectedness. We all work in various places, doing different things within the energy industry – but all of what we do is connected to everything else.
Changing the way you tax North Sea oil and gas, for instance, can have repercussions for the electricity system. How you might ask? More tax can mean lower investment which can have an effect on whether or not to invest in offshore wind, and ultimately impact the electricity system. Not to mention direct consequences for our security of supply and indirect consequences for retail prices. This idea of interconnectedness is something that our policy-makers struggle with. Making the links and joining the dots is something policy-makers have got to start doing if we want to avoid unanticipated side-effects and ripples throughout the industry. Targeted and complex policy interventions are not the answer.
The EI is one of the few organisations that genuinely takes an all-energy approach and is raising the profile of this serious issue. The Energy Systems Conference takes place in London on 24-25 June and brings a host of speakers tackling the area of energy systems, together. It is only by taking a systematic approach that we have a chance of understanding what consequences are borne from different policies.
The EI is all about raising the quality of debate and understanding about how our industry really works. It’s not easy bringing disparate, seemingly unconnected subjects together but it’s important and we are striving constantly to make sure that we do.