UK businesses believe governments have failed to deliver secure and affordable energy.
A survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) asked 1,000 business leaders their thoughts on the governments’ performance from 2002 onwards, in achieving the energy trilemma of securing supply that is affordable and low carbon.
Seven in ten of them thought Labour, Coalition and Conservative administrations had all failed to make energy available at a reasonable cost.
Dan Lewis Energy Policy Adviser at IoD told ELN: “Particularly when you are a small business and you look at all the cost. You look at the same deal you look at your energy cost, you look at your wage cost so it’s all a bit much closer to the margin.”
Two thirds of the people surveyed added politicians had not succeeded in ensuring the country’s energy security.
Mr Lewis believes the country needs a mix of energy which, apart from renewables, includes nuclear and shale gas to make prices cheaper and secure energy supply.
He added: “Businesses want a broad mix of sources in the UK energy mix. A majority supported all mainstream forms of renewable power generation, although the most popular, wave and tidal, is still largely untested in the UK. Over half of IoD members also back hydraulic fracturing (known as fracking) of shale rock for oil and gas.
“I think the government is right to not make a decision on Hinkley and I think this has a really big impact on how we might deliver cheaper nuclear power after Hinkley, whatever the decision is.”
However, the survey also revealed businesses believe the government’s work towards reducing carbon emissions and boosting renewables has been successful.
Mr Lewis added: “Renewables are a significant and growing, source of energy. The UK has the world’s highest offshore wind capacity, with much more expected but technology based on the weather doesn’t work all of the time, so the UK needs a mix of renewables, nuclear and the cleanest hydrocarbons.
“Government must do much better now. I think we need to do much more to deliver energy security and better energy prices. We need more emphasis on gas and nuclear.
“We don’t think they have done well like that we think the renewable side has been neglected.”