Policy experts are used to the number of consultations going up as MPs and Civil Servants go on their holidays, but this year has been exceptional, reflecting the pace of change in energy policy: 25 new energy consultations were announced in July alone! The IET has to be selective in channelling expert volunteer efforts and the Policy Panel has focussed primarily on Heat and on CCS, both for submission to the Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Committee. Other important submissions made over the summer have been to DECC on Community Energy and to Ofgem on Integrated Transmission Planning and Regulation. All submissions are available on the IET website.
Two Joint Submissions
The Policy Panel has co-ordinated evidence for two submissions to the Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Committee. Both of these were joint submissions under the banner of “Engineering the Future”.
The IET led the work on Carbon Capture and Storage with inputs from the IChemE, Energy Institute, IMechE and Royal Academy of Engineering.
IET participated in the drafting of joint evidence on Heat which was led by the Royal Academy of Engineering with support from the IET, CIWEM, EI, IChemE, IMechE and IStructE
The IET’s evidence was strongly reflected in the ECC Select Committee report on Smart Metering Roll-Out which was published on 27 July. There were ten quotes from the IET’s evidence on aspects ranging from the role of smart meters in a smart grid, to cost overruns in large IET projects, and the (lack of) health issues. The Select Committee report is here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenergy/161/161.pdf
The report by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee published on 6 August quoted from the IET’s oral evidence delivered by Duncan Botting. The report drew attention to the very wide range of benefits that would flow from the UK producing and consuming more of its energy locally. In a news release on the day of publication, the IET, said: “Energy is used to deliver heat, light and transport and the point at which these come together to enable efficiency of the whole energy system is at the community and individual level. In terms of sustainability, the ability of a community to manage its own energy supply and demand locally is a largely untapped resource. Taking a joined-up local approach to energy could make better use of “waste” heat and reduce losses in the power system.” Noting that community-owned energy projects that have materialised to date have done so “against all possible odds”, the IET welcomed the proposals put forward by the ECC for improving access to finance, and support for communities in the project planning stage.
In addition to this evidence to the Select Committee, the IET provided a detailed response to the DECC consultation on Community Energy.
The Policy Department is very grateful to members who contributed to these submissions.