In response to today’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Dr David Clarke FREng, Chief Executive of the Energy Technologies Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“We welcome improved clarity and stability of government policy – these are critical elements in establishing investor confidence in the UK energy sector. However, electricity generation is only part of the problem and without more considered long-term planning of the overall energy system – linking power, heat and transport with much greater involvement of the demand side – the UK will not deliver the most affordable system, even if security and sustainability targets can be met. Phasing out coal for gas will probably help with these issues but even greater emissions cuts will be needed longer term to meet the Climate Change Act targets. This will require nuclear and large scale renewables such as wind and solar, but we also believe that carbon capture and storage will be required and there is very little mention of this.

“The Royal Academy of Engineering’s recent report, A critical time for UK energy policy, stresses that energy policy needs to support the actions needed for the next few decades, not just for the next ten years. Actions from the government over the coming months to sustain their currently planned support for nuclear power and demonstration of carbon capture and storage, low carbon heating and ‘smart’ demand management may prove more cost-effective for the long term than short-term decisions on coal versus gas.”

Dr Clarke led the group which produced A critical time for UK energy policy, a report for the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology published in October 2015.

A critical time for UK energy policy

Notes for editors

Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges:
- Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
- Address the engineering skills crisis
- Position engineering at the heart of society
- Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
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E: Aaron Boardley