The UK has made some significant gains in the energy sector in recent years. The growth of the offshore wind industry is widely seen as a national success story, and coal has been virtually eliminated from the power sector. However, even greater ambition is needed in the next decade and beyond, particularly in decarbonising the heating and transport systems. Meeting the UK’s climate obligations while keeping prices stable, combating fuel poverty and maintaining a secure energy supply will require highly effective policy making.
This report examines the UK’s energy policy making process, and focuses on how well policy makers access and use evidence to inform their work. It assesses the UK’s strengths and weaknesses, and takes a comparative look at energy policy making in four other countries: Germany, France, the Netherlands and Canada. The report finishes with a series of recommendations on how government can improve its access to and use of evidence when designing energy policies.
Key recommendations for government:
- Review pay and progression to consider how it can reward analysts and policy makers who stay in post and develop expertise in technical and complex markets like energy.
- Publish more of the research evidence it produces or commissions, and open up its energy models to peer scrutiny.
- Make consultations and external engagement with experts and civil society more systematic and comprehensive. Pass on a viable network of contacts and experts should be considered a key responsibility for relevant civil servants.