Environment & Energy Blogs

The Helm Cost of Energy Review: the invisible hand versus the activist state

The Helm Cost of Energy Review: the invisible hand versus the activist state

Matthew Rooney, Energy and Environment Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, responds to Dieter Helm’s recent Cost of Energy Review. The review, commissioned by the Government and released last week, sparked much debate online. The main dividing line, Rooney explains, is between those who believe that an activist state and large subsidies for renewable energy deployment are necessary to bring down costs, and those who think the Government’s main role is to create a level playing field for low carbon technologies to compete without subsidy. Helm’s big idea is a carbon tax with border carbon adjustments. Could that work and what are its potential benefits?

The Clean Growth Strategy: worth the wait?

The Clean Growth Strategy: worth the wait?

Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment Research Fellows, Matthew Rooney and Joshua Burke, respond to the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy. The long awaited strategy document detailing how the UK will meet their emissions reductions targets was published on Thursday. In it there is positive news for onshore wind, nuclear power and the hydrogen economy, whilst fracking is a notable absence. A next big decision for the Government to make is whether the UK will remain in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Policy Exchange are currently conducting research into the potential benefits of leaving the scheme and implementing a British carbon tax system.

Clean Growth: How can we improve business energy efficiency?

Clean Growth: How can we improve business energy efficiency?

Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment unit announces the launch of its new project looking at the opportunities for and barriers to boosting business energy efficiency. Richard Howard and Joshua Burke set out the context for this project, and identify the important questions they will seek to answer.

What has been missed or misunderstood in this week’s Euratom debate?

What has been missed or misunderstood in this week’s Euratom debate?

Matt Rooney — Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment Research Fellow — reflects on the way in which the Government’s view that leaving the EU must also mean leaving Euratom has made this previously obscure treaty into a ‘political battleground’. Calling for a national discussion about how to withdraw from Euratom smoothly, he posits that this will be the ‘first real test of the UK’s ability to leave the EU and open up to the world’.

How can Government and regulators keep up with disruptive innovation?

How can Government and regulators keep up with disruptive innovation?

Policy Exchange’s Head of Energy and Environment, Richard Howard and Economic & Social Policy Research Fellow, Jonathan Dupont, report on a roundtable Policy Exchange hosted this week with politicians, regulators and leading businesses to look at some of the pressing questions concerning disruptive innovation and regulation.

Is it the end of the road for the combustion engine?

Is it the end of the road for the combustion engine?

Richard Howard — Policy Exchange’s Head of Energy and Environment — responds to Volvo’s announcement that it will only sell electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019 and the news that France is to ban the sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. He asks whether this marks the beginning of the end for the combustion engine.

America cedes ground in the environmental and diplomatic race

America cedes ground in the environmental and diplomatic race

Joshua Burke — Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment Research Fellow — responds to President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate treaty. Considering the decision in relation to the ‘tectonic plates of geopolitics’, he claims that ‘it is hard not to envision gleeful faces in China’, and concludes that America’s withdrawal will ‘no doubt weaken their geopolitical standing’

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