All-Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Annual Conference

Earlier this year HIES joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Renewable and Sustainable Energy. APPG exists for a variety of diverse subjects from basketball to ceramics, and of course renewable and sustainable energy. Although they don’t have any official status within Parliament they exist to bring together politicians from all parties and leading industry stakeholders to discuss issues and concerns.

As a consumer protection organisation, we want to ensure that consumers are thought of when Government policy is being developed. We do this by providing the Government with advice and information concerning current consumer issues in the home renewable industry. Since January this year, we have significantly expanded our policy network and joined key industry groups such as the APPG.

HIES attended the Annual Conference at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which was chaired by James Heappey MP with the theme of “Delivering Clean Growth: Leading the Charge”.

Clean growth strategy

Claire Perry MP, the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth started off her presentation by reminding us that the Climate Change Act is now 10 years old. The Act, legally bound Government ministers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the UK by at least 80% by 2050, from 1990 levels. Claire was very keen on seeing an increase in employment in the clean growth industry and urged us to “forget the science and focus on the jobs”.

Claire then talked about the Government’s grand challenges, one of which is clean growth. The grand challenges come out of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy that aims to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future. The grand challenge for clean growth is to:

“maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth – through leading the world in the development, manufacture and use of low carbon technologies, systems and services that cost less than high carbon alternatives”

After Claire’s speech, Orsted, EON UK and National Grid discussed what they had been doing in their respective industries to deliver clean growth. Orsted for example no longer operates in oil and gas and instead concentrates completely on renewable energy. The National Grid was increasingly working with Electric Vehicles (EV) to plan for the potential EV revolution and reducing ‘range anxiety’ for EV drivers.

The second session was chaired by Dr. Alan Whitehead MP, the Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change to discuss how Government should support large-scale deployment of renewable energysolutions to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets. There was some passionate discussion about onshore wind farms, and the panel decided that there needs to be public support for wind farms for them to be effective in decarbonisation.

It was a real privilege to hear from the key decision makers on their views about the future for decarbonisation and we look forward to further PRASEG meetings and discussions.