Is the Low Carbon Revolution in Danger?

Published: 27 March 2014

As we heard in last week’s Budget, the reality is that the energy policy changes announced will go ahead. The huge £7bn support package handed to energy intensive industries will be delivered and the freeze in the carbon price floor will again challenge investment in clean energy and lead to increased reliance on coal power.

Although this is great news for sizeable UK manufacturers, the above begs two important questions for the green economy. The first is the constant question as to how can the clean energy and low carbon sectors convince Government of their long term advantages, whilst continuing to deliver the sharp cost reductions that will allow them to maximise investment? The second is that regardless of the carbon tax freeze and the weighty reward measures offered to carbon intensive businesses, how will the UK continue to make the transition to a low carbon industrial base? The carbon budgets are designed to deliver long term certainty, so to see that one of the main policies for driving the transition from coal to cleaner energy has been watered down raises concerns.

What’s happened to the ‘Greenest Government Ever’? Where’s the announcements to increase support for renewables, nuclear and gas to ensure planned investment is not damaged by the effect of a lower than expected carbon price floor?  Are we to see again unnerved investors or potentially increased costs of building new power plants? Indisputably this was a great day for the UK’s energy intensive industries, but unfortunately, more of an unwelcomed message and a represented missed opportunity for some of the UK's most forward-looking new industries.

Views and thoughts on the challenges the UK faces in creating a low carbon future have been regularly widely debated at Berwick Partners ‘Perspectives on Energy’ Leadership events. Common themes have been the importance of a diverse energy mix which needs renewables and new nuclear included, aswell as the investment needed to reach the 2050 targets and enable the lights to be kept on.  Our events provide a great opportunity to share thoughts, expand networks and build the collaborative relationships that are needed between the critical parties in this market.  

Our ‘Perspectives on Energy’ Leadership event in May will see a range of senior HR and Resourcing professionals discuss the common factors that their businesses face such as the skills shortage and the diversity agenda.

If you are interested in attending any of our future events please contact Amy Speake - a Consultant within the Berwick Partners EMI Practice specialising in the Energy Sector.

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