Scottish State-Run Energy Company To Tackle Fuel Poverty & Invest in Renewables To Be Taken Forward by 2021
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, told the SNP conference in October 2017 that the idea of a state-run energy company that would supply household power and could invest in renewable energy would be taken forward by 2021.
On Friday, the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee wrote a letter to the Scottish Government with its findings on setting up a Publicly Owned Energy Company (POEC), indicating that a POEC would have the potential to provide independent oversight, collaborate with others in the industry, and join up existing climate change and fuel poverty policies in the country.
The committee convener, George Lindhurst MSP stated that such a POEC “to provide cheaper energy and tackle fuel poverty,… must sit at the heart of decision-making and market transition.” Though he also spoke of the potential problems and questions that still remain surrounding such a project, including how it will build a sustainable customer base and align with existing initiatives, and what extra value it could potentially add.
The Centre for Energy Policy suggested four overarching objectives that a Scottish POEC could have. These were: creating new energy infrastructure platforms, accelerating wider energy transformation (decarbonisation), increasing engagement and participation in the energy market and reducing cost to customers.
There is a lot of expectation surrounding this project and a danger that it could please no one. But if this project is implemented effectively, it could be the answer for affordable fuel bills and the successful transition to a low-carbon energy system.
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