Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Wilson calls for dedicated energy department

News

BRITAIN NEEDS a secretary of state for energy and a dedicated government department to drive policy, former Labour energy minister Brian Wilson said last week.

Government policy on energy is suffering from being spread between a number of departments, ' Wilson told delegates at a clean coal seminar run by contractor Mitsui Babcock.

At present energy minister Malcolm Wicks operates within the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI). But the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs influences energy policy's impact on the environment.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister holds planning powers.

And the Foreign & Commonwealth Offi e (FCO) leads negotiations with foreign fuel suppliers.

'Security of the UK's imported gas supply emerged as an issue at the FCO long before it dawned on the DTI, ' Wilson said.

Departments do not see eye to eye either, he claimed.

Wilson's call received enthusiastic support from many in the energy sector. It comes as the government begins its energy review (NCE 26 January).

Former ICE energy board chair David Anderson said that a single department would be better able to tackle the complex energy decisions lying ahead.

'Issues around nuclear new build will become increasingly pressing as the world's energy resources become stretched, and the Far East extends its demand and reach.

'These kinds of issue merit ministerial attention at the highest level, ' said Anderson.

He added that the ICE had been pressing for energy to be represented at Cabinet level for some time.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.