Energy professionals in the UK have highlighted energy policy continuity as the biggest challenge the country’s energy sector is currently facing.
According to the Energy Institute, the global professional body for the energy sector, in its second Energy Barometer report, Views from UK energy professionals, respondents highlighted energy policy continuity as the biggest challenge for the sector today, as well as concern for investment, and doubt that signatories of the Paris Climate Change Agreement can meet the targets set. Specifically, according to the report, “energy professionals we have surveyed seek stable energy policy to underpin investment for the long term.”
The top ten challenges identified by UK energy professionals are lead by the same two challenges as were identified in 2015 — energy policy certainty, and investment a close second.
“The EI’s Energy Barometer 2016 report shows that the single biggest wish for people working in UK energy is a stable energy policy to help industry and financiers decide where to invest profitably and, more crucially, to allow for long-term planning,” said Professor Jim Skea CBE FEI FRSA, President, Energy Institute. “Renewable energy and capturing carbon — key to implementing the Paris climate agreement — are seen to have been particularly badly hit by policy changes over the last year.”
In fact, 70% of respondents to the survey do not think the Paris Climate Change Agreement confirmed at COP21 in Paris last December will be sufficient to hold global temperatures to below 2°C, and are similarly concerned that the current policies in place are not having the intended impact.
“This year’s survey reflects concern that lack of policy continuity leads to under-investment in both UK energy technology and infrastructure,” said Malcolm Brinded CBE FEI FREng, Vice-President, Energy Institute. “This is considered to be the largest barrier to innovation and the delivery of the low carbon energy system needed to meet future demand and emissions targets, securely and affordably.”
Unsurprisingly, the impact of low oil prices is also making itself known to energy professionals, as is the impending referendum in the UK regarding whether or not to stay in the European Union.
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