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. 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: http://www.iee.org/Policy/sectorpanels/energy/index.cfm.
Input from the IEE Membership was requested in preparing this
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): http://www.iee.org/Policy/sectorpanels/energy/IEE-Energy-Policy-Briefing-Feb05.pdf Back