Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation

Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation

Edited by Colin Robinson

Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation continues the series of annual books, published in association with the Institute of Economic Affairs and the London Business School, which critically reviews the state of utility regulation and competition policy.

Chapter 6: Energy regulation and competition after the White Paper

Eileen Marshall

Subjects: economics and finance, competition policy, public sector economics


Eileen Marshall INTRODUCTION Following various reports, including the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP)’s Energy: The Changing Climate (2000), the Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit’s (PIU) review of energy policy early in 2002 and further government consultation on key issues in 2002, a new White Paper was produced in February 2003, Our Energy Future – Creating a Low Carbon Economy. The White Paper set out the four goals of the government’s new energy policy as being: • to put the UK on a path to cut carbon dioxide emissions by some 60 per cent by about 2050, as recommended by the RCEP, with real progress by 2020; • to maintain the reliability of energy supplies (a term which is used to encompass all aspects of energy security of supply); • to promote competitive markets in the UK and beyond, helping to raise the rate of sustainable economic growth and to improve productivity; and • to ensure that every home is adequately and affordably heated. The White Paper says these four goals are designed to meet what the government considers to be the three main challenges for energy policy in the future: • addressing the threat of climate change; • dealing with the implications of reduced UK oil, gas and coal production, which will make the UK a net energy importer instead of a net exporter; and 118 Robinson 02 chap06 118 17/6/05 7:41:32 am Energy regulation and the white paper 119 • over the next twenty years or so, the need to replace...

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