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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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