UK needs new energy body at "arm’s length" from Government

The UK needs a new independent body to look after energy policies to prevent them being “too easily influenced by the political wind”, according to the UK Energy Research Council […]

Register now!

By Vicky Ellis

The UK needs a new independent body to look after energy policies to prevent them being “too easily influenced by the political wind”, according to the UK Energy Research Council (UKERC).

The Government is currently drawing up a package of reforms to the electricity market (EMR), which includes incentives to use renewable energy like solar power, with the feed-in-tariff, as well a capacity mechanism, where power stations will receive payments to generate back-up energy for variable renewable sources.

According to the research group, which co-hosted a workshop last month on the EMR, the academics, consumers, businesses and environmental organisations who came were “overwhelmingly in favour” of a totally new body to look after the new policies. Giving the reins to an existing body such as the regulator Ofgem or the National Grid was not a popular move, the UKERC said.

Professor Jim Skea, Research Director at the quango said: “The energy experts convened by UKERC delivered a message that was loud and clear: these reforms can only succeed with a new, independent agency at the helm.”

DECC said it will set out the institutional arrangements for the EMR at the turn of the year.