Call for heat to be recognised by new UK energy department

The UK government has announced the creation of a new Department of Energy and Climate change, which is to be headed by Ed Miliband.

The appointment of a new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, that came as part of a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has been welcomed by the energy industry.

In the new role Miliband will assume responsibility for areas which had previously been covered across two departments, the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) in move which is hoped will provide more direction and focus to the pressing issues of security of energy supplies and climate change.

Commenting on the challenges the new minister faces Renewable Energy Association director general Philip Wolfe said: ‘In particular we look forward to measures for renewable heat, which can be included in the renewable energy tariff being considered in the current Energy Bill. He also needs to ࢀ¦ adopt a more robust approach to renewable transport fuels and decentralised energy technologies like solar energy and heat pumps.’

Anthony Hobley, head of Climate Change and Carbon Finance, at law firm Norton Rose LLP observed: ‘The creation of this powerful body, and the appointment of Ed Miliband to head it, signal to us that climate change, clean energy & energy security are indeed at the top of the government’s political agenda. Does this augur a clearer, more unified UK strategy on the associated issues of carbon trading, biofuels, renewables and carbon capture and storage? Our clients who invest in these markets will draw solace in these credit-starved days from improved regulatory certainty.’

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