Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Written Evidence

Written Evidence from Graham Paterson, Head of Policy, Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE)

  The Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Welsh Affairs Committee's Inquiry into Energy in Wales. We believe that the task of this Inquiry is a timely one in the context of the recently announced government review of UK energy policy. We hope that in evaluating its evidence the Committee will give full consideration to the potential policy interactions in this complex area of policy, and would like to offer two general recommendations:

  1.  Energy policy for Wales should aim to optimise the Welsh contribution to a balanced low-carbon energy portfolio on a GB-wide basis. [21]The Welsh electricity system benefits from good connectivity to both England and Scotland, while offering the potential to harness abundant natural energy resources, particularly wind and marine. Marine power technologies are currently at a crucial stage in demonstration and commercialisation, offering a unique opportunity for Wales to lead innovation in this area. The UK government should support Welsh national initiatives to promote Research, Development and Demonstration activities in Wales, such as those recommended in the Welsh Assembly Government's Route Map for Energy.

  2.  Demand management must be a central plank of a prudent energy policy. There is clearly a need to promote a culture of energy conservation in light of the disappointing performance of "traditional" energy efficiency campaigns. Government at all levels must demonstrate long term commitment to educational initiatives promoting personal and community responsibility for energy usage. Energy efficiency measures for homes and businesses are currently promoted by both the UK Government and the Devolved Administration. It will be important to ensure good policy coordination between different levels of government.

  The IEE's 120,000 members are drawn from a broad range of engineering disciplines, representing a wide range of expertise from technical specialists to business leaders. Many of the most experienced members of the IEE, and their sector peers, voluntarily participate in a variety of IEE policy guidance groups. To these groups they bring their wealth of personal experience and knowledge, independent of commercial interests, to address the policy issues of the day and give the IEE independent and authoritative views of trends in technology and engineering. This response has been prepared on behalf of the IEE Trustees by the Energy Sector Panel whose details can be found at: Input from the IEE Membership was requested in preparing this response.

2 December 2005

21   The IEE's position on UK energy policy is summarised in our publication "The Energy White Paper, Two Years On" (February 2005): Back

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