2016 presented challenges and marked big changes, for the UK as a whole and for the energy industry as a key part of the British economy. I hardly need to mention the Brexit vote, a new Prime Minister, the merging of the Department of Energy and Climate Change into the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the US elections to evoke the deep uncertainty that has characterised the past year.
One month into 2017, government, industry and the Energy Institute are looking ahead and trying to answer some essential questions: what changes are needed in the energy industry, how can policies help achieve the desired change, and how will these changes impact us today, next year, and in 5 years? What are the priorities moving forward?
Now is a pivotal time for UK policy development, which faces big challenges and also significant opportunities: negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU, the formation and implementation of a Modern Industrial Strategy, carving a path to make good on the UK’s Paris Agreement commitment through a new Emissions Reduction Plan, and setting a global example by leading on climate action.
Evidence is essential to policy makers as they tackle the complexity presented by these challenges. How to meet emissions targets, while improving the competitiveness of UK industries, in a scenario where the UK is expected to leave the EU single market? . Consultations, such as that just opened on BEIS’s approach to industrial strategy, are one way that policy makers tap the knowledge and expertise of those on the ground in the energy industry. The EI’s Energy Barometer is another unique opportunity, offered to only a selection of EI members each year.
By gathering evidence in the Energy Barometer questionnaire, the EI acts as an honest broker of the views of energy professionals about the challenges, opportunities, and priorities facing the UK’s energy industry. Our members have in-depth knowledge because they experience the industry first hand. Those who provide views and opinions through the Barometer include seasoned industry experts as well as those with fresh eyes who have started careers in energy only in the last 5 years. All of them offer insights otherwise unavailable to policy makers.
EI members thus have a unique opportunity to provide an invaluable input to the policy- making process. By participating in the Energy Barometer, they are helping to ground energy policy and industrial strategy in their own experience. The survey has been sent to College members in the first week of February. If you are invited, please don’t miss this chance to provide vital evidence which is needed and wanted to inform policy decisions.