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UK energy policy needs change to push green transition, report claims

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A new industry report suggests that major change is needed to the UK’s existing energy policy in order to effectively aid a true transition to clean energy.

The report, entitled Gridlock in UK Power Markets, which was produced by InfluenceMap in collaboration with the Friends Provident Foundation, argues that the UK’s so-called ‘Big Six’ energy companies are having an “undue influence” on energy policy, which in turn is “hindering” the nation’s move to greener energy.

It claims that the Big Six have effectively captured the regulatory process by consistently supporting subsidy reductions to renewable and clean energy projects, and by holding private meetings with policy makers much more regularly than their smaller rivals.

According to the research, Big Six firms have met with policy makers as many as 166 times since 2015 – more than twice as many times as all of the other market players combined.

It argues that the Big Six are unfairly influencing the public narrative on electricity and posing significant investor risk in the wider energy sector by hindering Britain’s transition to clean energy.

Dylan Tanner, Executive Director of InfluenceMap, said: “Incumbent utilities in the UK appear to be clinging to outdated business models. History shows this usually ends badly for the shareholders of the companies most resistant to change.”

Colin Baines, Investment Engagement Manager at the Friends Provident Foundation, added: “There is emerging consensus that the energy market is facing unprecedented disruption.

“It should concern investors that none of the Big Six’s lobbying activity is sufficiently aligned with this transition, an indicator that they are perhaps not adequately preparing for the market disruption they face.”

The full report can be accessed here.