Crucial energy focus for the next general election

Article posted

12th Jun 2024

Read time

4-8 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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As the next general election approaches, the discussion surrounding energy policy has never been more critical. With the increasing impacts of climate change, economic uncertainties, and evolving technological landscapes, the energy sector is at the forefront of public concern.

It's imperative that the next government prioritises a comprehensive, sustainable, and forward-thinking energy strategy to ensure long-term prosperity and environmental health.

The current energy landscape

Globally, the energy sector is undergoing a significant transformation. The shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is accelerating, driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

However, this transition presents both opportunities and challenges. While renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, and hydro power are becoming more affordable and efficient, the infrastructure needed to support these changes requires substantial investment and planning.


 Key concerns for the next government


Sustainability and climate action

 The primary concern for any new energy policy must be sustainability. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly warned of the dire consequences of failing to curb emissions.

The next government needs to commit to ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and investing in renewable energy. This includes not only increasing the capacity of renewable sources but also improving energy efficiency across all sectors.


Energy security

 As the world moves away from fossil fuels, ensuring a stable and secure energy supply is critical. This means diversifying energy sources and investing in energy storage technologies. By developing a robust grid that can handle fluctuations in supply and demand, the government can prevent the blackouts and energy shortages that could arise during this transition.


Economic impact

The energy sector is a major driver of economic growth. Investing in renewable energy can create jobs, stimulate technological innovation, and provide a boost to local economies. The government should focus on policies that encourage private investment in clean energy projects and support the workforce in transitioning to new roles within the green economy.


Affordability and equity

Energy affordability is a significant issue for many businesses and consumers. The next government must ensure that the transition to renewable energy does not disproportionately affect low-income families. Implementing policies that subsidise clean energy and improve energy efficiency in homes can help mitigate these impacts. Additionally, community-based renewable energy projects can provide local benefits and increase public buy-in.


Technological innovation

Supporting research and development in energy technologies is crucial. This includes not only improvements in renewable energy sources but also advancements in energy storage, smart grid technology, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). By fostering innovation, the government can position the country as a leader in the global energy market.


What businesses should look out for.

To address these concerns, the next government could consider the following policy recommendations:


Increase renewable energy investments

Allocate significant funding towards expanding renewable energy infrastructure, including wind, solar, and hydroelectric power. This should be coupled with incentives for private sector investment and the development of public-private partnerships.


Enhance grid resilience

 Invest in modernising the national grid to handle increased renewable energy inputs and improve its resilience against climate-related disruptions. This includes developing large-scale energy storage solutions and smart grid technologies.


Support energy efficiency

 Implement nationwide programs to enhance energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. This could include stricter building codes, incentives for retrofitting existing buildings, and public awareness campaigns.


Promote fair energy policies

Develop policies that ensure the benefits of the energy transition are equitably distributed. This includes subsidies for low-income households, support for community energy projects, and measures to prevent energy poverty.


Foster innovation and research

Increase funding for research and development in emerging energy technologies. Encourage collaborations between universities, research institutions, and the private sector to drive innovation.


The next general election is a pivotal moment for the future of energy policy. The decisions made by the incoming government will have lasting impacts on the environment, economy, and society. By prioritising sustainability, security, affordability, and innovation, the government can navigate the challenges of the energy transition and pave the way for a cleaner, more prosperous future. It is not just an option but a necessity for the well-being of future generations.

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