A combination of government funding cuts to support for energy efficiency measures and waning interest in the issue among many businesses means sector champions are needed to talk up the role that such measures can play. Neil Peacock reports.
An energy issue much in the news lately is security of supply, with pronouncements by both Ofgem and National Grid bringing the subject to the fore.
Last autumn at an Energy Institute debate, Steve Holliday of National Grid offered an assurance that the lights really aren’t going to go out any time soon.
It was clear, though, that to avoid this happening in the long term the UK will definitely have to turn to overseas investors, the favourites being Chinese.
Almost at the very time he was saying this a deal was being struck with EDF and some Chinese investors to build a 3,600 MW nuclear power station on the existing Hinkley Point site, at cost of some £16bn and with a 10-year construction period.
However, Oxford University’s Brenda Boardman, who also attended the autumn event, seemed to be a lone voice in pointing out that the “lights out” risk could be alleviated by focusing on energy efficiency.
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Neil Peacock is the managing director of Energy International - www.energyinternational.co.uk. This article first appeared in Energy World, January 2014 published by the Energy Institute - www.energyinst.org