"I want to see an energy policy that emphasises the reliability of supply and lower costs for users.” Just two days before becoming Prime Minister, this key extract from Theresa May’s first major campaign speech in Birmingham was welcomed by the energy industry and consumers alike. But what would it mean in practice and in policy?
We didn’t have to wait long to find out. The unexpectedly swift coronation of the former home secretary was followed by the axing of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the creation of a new ministry to deal with Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It is early days yet, but this is hopefully a sign that energy policy will now be much more closely aligned with domestic economic policy and making Britain more competitive in the post-Brexit world.
The new secretary of state, Greg Clark, faces a bulging in-tray, from a chronic lack of new build to replace old power plants, the growing conflict of interest facing National Grid, and the hugely important task of reviewing the eye-wateringly poor Hinkley C proposal.
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