The UK government’s energy department (DECC) seems to be on the ropes – or is it the deck? – thanks to the creation of a new body called the NIC, as PEI reports.
There is some confusion as to the role of the Department of Energy and Climate Change following a reorganisation announced by the UK’s chancellor for the exchequer George Osborne this week. The entire energy policy brief has been ceded by DECC to the new National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).
With the energy portfolio has gone all the big issues on its agenda. These include the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, indeed the entire future of the UK nuclear power programme. It is not entirely clear what DECC, headed by secretary of state Amber Rudd, will now hold responsibility for, following the announcement.
Mr Osborne announced the NIC at the Conservative party conference on Monday describing it as “A Commission, set up in law, free from party arguments, which works out, calmly and dispassionately, what the country needs to build for its future, and holds any Government’s feet to the fire if it fails to deliver … Like how we are going to make sure Britain has the energy supplies it needs …”
“I’ve asked the new National Infrastructure Commission to start its work today. And I am delighted that the former Labour Cabinet Minister and Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis has agreed to be the Commission’s first Chair.”
As a result of the restructure it appears that DECC is largely a shell department with responsibility for climate change policy. The relationship between the NIC and DECC is not yet clear.