Industry expresses confidence in successor to DECC

Industry reaction to the closure of the DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change) and its responsibilities being absorbed into the new Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as part of the Cabinet reshuffle by new Prime Minister Theresa May, has been generally positive.

BSRIA has welcomed the appointment of Greg Clarke as Secretary of State for the new ministry. Julia Evans, chief executive of BSRIA, said, ‘This is inspired thinking from the Prime Minister to marry the worlds of business, energy and industrial strategy. With the recent Brexit announcement and political turmoil, we need to know that there is stability ahead for not only our members but the industry at large.

‘Indeed, after Brexit, Amber Rudd, then Secretary of State for Energy, said there would be no changes to energy policy, and we hope that there will be no changes under Dr Clark’s stewardship.’

Mike Nankivell, president of the Heat Pump Association (HPA). said, ‘Few could have predicted the political upheaval that resulted from the Brexit vote or that we would now have a new Prime Minister and a radically restructured cabinet.

‘The HPA has always worked closely with Government departments, in particular the DECC, and we were initially somewhat alarmed at news reports that it would be amalgamated with another Government department.

‘We have had occasion to be concerned in the past that critical synergies on environmental matters could not be effectively achieved because of communication difficulties between separate departments such as DECC, DCLG, DEFRA and BIS.

‘With this in mind, we are of the view that the new Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Department could be an extremely positive and welcome step towards greater joined-up thinking on stimulating the take up of heat pumps, renewable heating and carbon reduction in general, and hence the UK can play a meaningful part in tackling climate change.’

Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association, said, ‘It is a great shame that a department directly focused on the critical issues of energy and climate change is to close, but a joined-up business, industrial strategy and energy approach could provide huge opportunities for solar in the UK — as can be seen in many countries across the world.’

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