Wednesday 11th September 2019
It’s safe to say the summer hasn’t been the quiet period in politics that we’d all usually expect. In fact, we’ve been dealing with a new PM, a new Government, a little thing called Brexit and a variety of policy issues across political parties. Who needs a break huh?
Now it’s September. The traffic’s back to normal, the diary’s already full and to top it off it’s time for political upheaval. We’re starting the new term with fireworks and I can’t see it quietening down. But what does all this change actually mean for energy policy?
At the time of writing this blog, Boris is still a newish PM and with a new PM comes a new ministerial team. Focusing here on the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), where we’ve already lost a sixth of the department’s ministers following Jo Johnson’s awkward abdication. The most relevant changes were the arrivals of Andrea Leadsom as Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng as Minister for Energy & Clean Growth and Lord Duncan of Springbank in a newly created role of Minister for Climate Change.
It’s not yet clear what the change in personnel could mean for decarbonisation policy affecting off-grid. Leadsom knows her brief well having previously been Secretary of State for the Environment and a junior energy Minister at the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) – she welcomes a move towards greener energy, but also values the importance of the gas industry.
Regardless of any new Ministerial enthusiasm, Brexit will continue to dominate the political sphere for the foreseeable future, bringing most policy engagement in all areas to a sluggish halt. The highly anticipated energy white paper, not to mention numerous consultations and consultation responses on decarbonisation, energy efficiency or building regs we’re waiting on, are expected to be pushed back further.
But hey, it’s a new term and who knows what the next school year will bring? Aside from Brexit or Boris, decarbonisation remains the next ‘Big Thing’ we all want to talk about – and we all know Climate Change isn’t going anywhere.
Meanwhile, Liquid Gas UK recently outlined how bioLPG can enable the effective and affordable decarbonisation of rural off-grid homes and businesses across the UK in our 2040 Vision. BioLPG is an affordable ‘drop-in’ solution, which offers up to 90% carbon emissions reduction and as boilers are bio-ready, there’s no retrofit costs necessary.
We’re only going to get one shot at getting heat decarbonisation policy right and we all know a ‘one size fits all’ policy approach doesn’t work, especially for off-grid buildings. What we need is a long term policy framework that supports a consumer-led market approach, with a mix of innovative solutions, in order to empower off-grid home and business owners to make low carbon, sustainable choices that work for them.
For more information on the work we’re doing at Liquid Gas UK on the transition to bioLPG, please contact me on email@example.com.
By Sophia Haywood, Public Affairs Manager, Liquid Gas UK
The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK