UK slips down sustainable energy table

9th December 2011


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  • Renewable ,
  • Conventional ,
  • Generation



The UK has fallen seven places in the World Energy Council's (WEC) third annual Energy Sustainability Index, which ranks countries in terms of the security, affordability and environmental sustainability of their energy supply.

In the overall rankings for 2011, the UK fell to 14th position from 8th last year, overtaken by countries including Colombia, Spain and Italy, while Switzerland, Sweden and France remained unmoved in the top three rankings.

Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the WEC’s policy assessment group, said uncertainty over UK government policy was in part to blame for the fall, citing in particular the plans for electricity market reform (EMR).

“The headline of EMR proposals is known, but the detail of how they’re going to work is not known,” she said. “Detail needs to be filled in and the credibility of the execution of the policies needs to be built to encourage people to invest.”
In its report outlining this year’s rankings, the WEC argues that to ensure a sustainable energy supply, governments must think long term and base policies on realistic costs, including placing a value on CO2, to attract the investment needed.

Policymakers must also understand organisations’ need for clear timescales for returns on investment on energy-efficiency measures, the WEC concludes.

“Without a deeper understanding of industry expectations … policymakers will face challenges in developing the industry-changing policies required for a low-carbon future,” states the report.


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