30 August 2016

Company bosses want the Government to deliver secure and competitively-priced energy according to a new poll.

Based on a survey of nearly 1000 members of the Institute of Directors (IoD), the poll shows that 70% believe successive governments have failed to ensure that energy is available at a reasonable cost.

With the creation of the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the IoD argues that this is an ideal moment for the Government to reconsider the direction in which energy policy is moving.

Since the early 2000s, governments have focused on increasing renewable energy in order to reduce carbon emissions, the IoD’s Dan Lewis has pointed out. However, the survey found that 62% of respondents think that politicians have not succeeded in ensuring that the UK will always have the power that it needs.

Although cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is overwhelmingly supported by business, politicians have underplayed the role of energy policy in delivering secure and affordable power, he went on.

While renewables are a significant and growing source of energy for the UK, the IoD argues that a mix of energy sources is needed to offset the impact of weather on renewable sources such as solar and wind.

It backs nuclear as a reliable source of low-carbon energy, but its members are divided over whether Hinkley Point makes strategic sense, with less than half believing it will improve the UK’s economic competitiveness.

Nearly 90% of survey respondents expressed support for wave and tidal energy while about 56% back hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of shale rock for oil and gas (opposed by about 28%).

For more information, see www.iod.com.