By now, many of the EI’s members will have received an invitation to join the EI College and help the Energy Institute project the views of its professional members to Government and beyond through its annual Energy Barometer report. Please do not ignore this invitation. This is probably one of the most effective ways that an EI member can participate in the public debate about energy, influence policy and help shape messages for society at large.
This year’s Energy Barometer survey, to which all College members are invited to contribute, comes at crucial time – just eight months after the General Election and two months after the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change’s much anticipated “reset” speech. Last year, College members told us that policy continuity was essential for reducing investment risk, promoting the better use of existing technology and increasing innovation. They also told us that investment risk had risen over the previous 12 months in almost all parts of the energy system. Read the Energy Barometer 2015 report.
What will you tell us and policymakers this year? It has certainly been a roller-coaster ride in the UK over the last few months, with major policy changes on renewables, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage. Oil prices have fallen below $30/barrel with potential implications for investment in fossil and non-fossil energy alike. On the other hand, climate negotiators surprised the world (and perhaps themselves) by reaching an ambitious agreement at COP21 in Paris at the beginning of December, aiming to hold global temperature increases to well below 2 °C. Now every one of the 195 countries that have signed up is faced with the task of turning ambitious emission pledges into reality on the ground.
At no point in the last 25 years have the professional insights and skills of energy industry professionals been of more importance in helping the world to face up to both a longer term transition and shorter-term volatility.
Energy is a strategic business and the industry needs to work hand-in-hand with governments to deliver secure, affordable supplies of energy to consumers in a sustainable way. This requires trust and continuing dialogue between all parties. The EI College and the Energy Barometer are a crucial part of that dialogue. Government will listen when members of the professional body for the energy industry speak. The fact that the EI covers all parts of the energy sector – renewable and non-renewable, supply-side and demand-side, engineering as well as other professions such as law and finance – gives added weight. By taking an active part and responding to the Energy Barometer survey, EI members will help to ensure that government, society and the industry itself can make their plans based on the best professional advice. If you have received an invitation to participate, do please accept.
Invitations to join the EI College have been issued by email and the deadline for response was 15 January. The EI Energy Barometer survey will be circulated to participants online w/c 25 January 2016. If you are interested in contributing to this year’s research but haven’t yet responded, you can still RSVP through the email invitation you received up until the end of January.