Barriers to effective retail competition need to be removed

Retail price caps continue to make the news, as “dealing” with rising energy prices is seen as a popular move in the run up to the General Election. As has now been argued many times, including in this blog, price caps are unlikely to be beneficial, with many unintended adverse consequences likely. The question is,…

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Can energy price caps ever work?

Last week the Conservative Party has announced a manifesto commitment to an energy price cap, despite warnings from across the industry, including in this blog, that the idea is unlikely to work, and may have significant unintended adverse consequences. In his recent address to Centrica shareholders, Iain Conn made reference to failed caps in New…

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Why energy price caps are not the way forward

Once again we hear in the news the ominous threats of energy price caps in response to retailers raising their prices, and while the desire of politicians to respond to consumer anger is understandable, this is a temptation they need to resist. The dangerous logic of price caps assumes that prices are inflated in order…

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Policy and financial innovation as important as new technologies in the energy transition

Energy policy is frequently described in terms of the “trilemma”: decarbonisation, security of supply and affordability. Delivering this three-pointed objective requires a three-pointed approach: technological, policy and financial innovation. None of these in isolation can deliver the energy policy objectives.   Technological innovation delivers new possibilities for the energy system The impact of technological innovation…

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Should the Carbon Price Floor be scrapped?

The Carbon Price Floor (“CPF”) is a UK government mechanism designed to support decarbonisation by making it more expensive to generate electricity with carbon-intensive fuels. The doubling in the CPF in 2015 from £9 / tonne to £18 / tonne means the CPF now represents about 34% of the marginal cost of a coal-fired generator and…

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