There can be few people in the UK who will not welcome some respite from hearing the phrase “strong and stable” but for those of us working in energy, a strong and stable energy policy is just what is required.
The incoming Government must continue to develop and diversify the nation’s energy resources and now is the time to commit significant investment to research and development – making use of 50 years of hard earned experience in energy extraction and generation – to ensure the UK remains pivotal amongst the nations driving the global energy agenda.
We are likely to see the appointment of yet another energy minister, a phenomenon the energy industry has sadly become accustomed to. High on his or her agenda should be adoption of policy which looks to the medium term and one which gives developers and owners of energy sources and transmission systems the confidence that investment on and off these shores is secure and sustainable.
There is no shortage of issues which deserve attention and commitment – carbon capture and storage, research and investment in the development of battery storage, improving the efficiency of energy production and transmission, supporting innovation – to name a few.
This approach will encourage the investment required to maximise alternative energy opportunities and optimise returns from the UKCS, maintain the encouraging signs of recovery we have seen in the North Sea, while consolidating the uptick in inward foreign investment and ownership we have witnessed in the last 12 months or so.
Bob Ruddiman, head of energy at legal firm Pinsent Masons