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Tony Lodge debates energy nationalisation (The Independent)

    CPS Research Fellow Tony Lodge contributed to an Independent debate on Jeremy Corbyn's plans to renationalise energy companies, Friday 7 August 2015. 

    Too public already

    Tony Lodge, Research Fellow at Centre for Policy Studies

    The last thing the energy sector and its customers need is more government control, let alone renationalisation.

    Indeed recent energy policy represents the biggest expansion of state power since the nationalisations of the 1940s and 1950s – and is on course to be the most expensive domestic policy disaster in modern British history. 

    The electricity sector is being transformed into a vast, ineffective Public Private Partnership, an outcome that promises the worst of both worlds – state control of investment funded  by high cost private sector capital, with energy companies being set up to take the blame for higher electricity bills.

    Competition between electricity suppliers is an expensive sideshow (which Ofgem estimated cost £730m in 2008) if it does not drive competition between generators and market investment in the most efficient generating technologies.

    After all, these were the key ambitions of Conservative electricity privatisation in 1989.

    We need to return to the ambitions of Conservative electricity privatisation and stop the road to more and more central control with draconian renewable targets which will require more and more subsidy.

    To read the full debate, visit the Independent website

    Date added: Tuesday 11th August 2015