Don’t let Cameron furore overshadow genuine progress on energy issues
Thursday 26th April 2012
There has been much coverage in the
news this week around the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM)
taking place in London this week. A lot of this coverage has focused on the
fact that David Cameron did not give a keynote
speech as expected and instead gave
a short address to the summit. However, perhaps the more significant
comments this week have come from Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary.
Speaking a day before Cameron’s highly
anticipated address, Davey
unveiled a raft of new funds, including £35m for Energy
Entrepreneurs Fund, £3m for heat storage innovation and an online low-carbon
funding navigator. He also pledged that the UK will develop a policy framework
with ministers worldwide that supports clean tech innovation.
Davey went on to state that: "We
should state more strongly the business case for going green. Efficiency
policies are unashamedly good for growth: using less resources lowers operating
costs and frees up capital." His comments follow on from the
statements he made earlier in the year that energy efficiency has to be “at
the heart of what we do”.
Of course many policies, such as the
Green Deal are already in place, what I have been critical of in the past is
the lack of clear communication on green issues and the failure to engage
properly with energy consumers.
Davey’s latest comments are significant
as they are part of a dramatic shift in the past month with major policy news
and announcements from Davey, Charles Hendry, the Energy Minister, and Nick
Clegg on energy issues and the importance of technology innovation and consumer engagement.
Rather than getting lost in the Cameron
furore, it seems to me that this clear ramp up in Government activity on green
issues shows that progress is being made in the corridors of power and that the
message on the importance of consumer engagement is getting through. This is
hugely encouraging, energy efficiency and renewables moving closer to the
mainstream is not just good news for consumers but also for technology vendors
like ourselves and the energy sector as a whole.
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