“If you don’t want to make a decision, you can always find a reason for not making it,” says John Armitt, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, on the lack of energy policy coming out of BEIS. We’re risking missing net zero targets if it doesn’t make its mind up soon, he tells Denise Chevin.
A major new report published this week sets out a huge scale of opportunity for city authorities to drive the green agenda and a potential £100 billion in local energy projects. Denise Chevin digests the report’s findings and the net zero plans for four local authorities it spotlights.
Labour MP Darren Jones has been elected as the new chair of the business, energy and industrial strategy committee. The Bristol North West MP takes over from Rachel Reeves, who stepped down from the post to rejoin Labour’s front bench as shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Business secretary Alok Sharma has praised the utilities sector in what he described as an “unparalleled time” for the nation. Utility Week's Keeping Us Connected campaign will be used to urge the government to officially recognise the vital work the sector is doing during the pandemic.
There are 'two camps' emerging in efforts to lobby the government to provide support for the energy supply market, Utility Week understands - with the largest and smallest retailers on one side, and medium-sized firms on the other. Several options have been mooted on how to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic but a quick response from BEIS remains unlikely.
Financial assistance being sought by the energy sector from the government poses the risk of some struggling suppliers "misusing" funds, Good Energy founder Juliet Davenport has told Utility Week. She shares her concerns that companies with underlying financial issues may take advantage of what they see as "free cash".
Guidance outlining how energy suppliers should deal with customers during the coronavirus pandemic is to be published by the government imminently, Utility Week understands. The paper is expected to contain information from Citizens Advice as to what will be expected while the virus continues to affect both business and consumers.
The appointment of Alok Sharma as energy secretary was an unexpected move in the latest cabinet reshuffle. David Blackman asks industry observers what Sharma can bring to the role as well as assessing the significance of Kwasi Kwarteng staying on as energy minister. He also discusses what impact the departure of Simon Clarke from the Treasury may have on the net zero process.