Energy Policies And The New Conservative Government

Energy Policies And The New Conservative Government

During the run up to the elections David Cameron maintained his commitment to tackling Climate Change, bringing in an energy efficient economy and adhering to the Carbon Budgets established under the Climate Change Act. The Conservative manifesto on energy was more general and less specific than those of the other parties, and for the most part less ambitions, however that seemed to have little effect on the vote, showing perhaps that energy was not a major issue for the general public.

Following the elections, which gave a clear if narrow win to the Conservatives, we saw a reiteration of the existing energy policies which are mainly a reflection of targets set by the European Union. We are still following the Renewable Energy Roadmap introduced in 2009 and updated in 2013. The key target being 15% of energy needs from renewable energy by 2015, however, the Government seems to rely heavily on nuclear power to achieve this target.

What will be interesting to watch over the next few years is how the dynamics between Westminster and Scotland develop, since there are some opposing points of view. Fracking for example, the SNP say no but the Conservatives say yes on a case by case basis. Also, onshore wind energy, the SNP want subsidies maintained, the Conservatives will stop future subsidies. The group Ecuity Consulting LLP analysis of the election results (see here) lays out the expected positions on energy for both parties. It is hoped that the renewable energy industry will see a regulatory framework and guidance policies that are more amenable to entrepreneurial developments with greater access to funding for developing technologies.

David Cameron quite quickly formed his Government and the Ministerial appointments were published on the 14th of May. The main appointments in departments that will have an impact on energy policy are:

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

– Amber Rudd MP

Minister of State

– Andrea Leadsom MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

– Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (jointly with the Wales Office) (and Lord in Waiting (paid))

Department for Communities and Local Government

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

– Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

Minister of State

– Brandon Lewis MP

Minister of State

– Mark Francois MP

Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State

– James Wharton MP

– Marcus Jones MP

– Baroness Williams of Trafford

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

– Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP

Minister of State

– George Eustice MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

– Rory Stewart OBE MP

The process for the election of the Speaker of the House will commence today, 18th May, with the ballot expected tomorrow followed by the announcement of the new Speaker.


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