Joined: 05 September 2004
I was going to try to make an assessment of the capacity mechanism included in the new Energy Bill.
But as you would expect it is just a list of Henry VIII clauses and has little ecomomic or engineering substance or content. Secondary legislation regulations to which the bill refers have not even been published in draft form. The question is how can we evaluate wishful and woolly thinking by government, that if put into law will effect all our lives?
Apparently DECC's own Impact Assessments are one possible way of evaluating wishful and woolly thinking like this, and unsurprisingly they appear to give the green light for the UK as a whole to enter a new era of centralised control, governed by primary law statues of the most nebulous kind.
DECC is clearly on a power grab analogous to monarchs of old used to attempt. However there is absolutely no evidence that they have the institutional skills, knowledge and experience necessary to sustain a clear and tranparent centralised system of controls, levies and subsidies that they are currently proposing (all within the unknown bounds of the Treasury's own "clear and transparent" levy/subsidy control framework of course).
The Energy Bill, in its own complex and unintelligible way, has morphed into DECC's own publicly posted suicide note (a suicide note, that now comes with extensive explanatory notes and impact assessments, and is something that DECC has worked on with considerable determination ever since the department was brought into life by Gordon Brown in 2008).
Why on earth would parliament want to put this institutional suicide note onto the statue book and bring the rest of the country down with them?
I personally think DECC has the right to die and in such long standing and terminal cases of institutional decline we should allow institutional euthanasia in a ways that limits damage to the wider society.
Whatever extra damage DECC eventually manages to inflict on the UK (and what it eventually costs to undo this damage) the organisation won't survive in anything like its present form, past the next general election that much is now politically clear. (the solar subsidy debacle, green deal failings and the continued failure to properly address the problem of nuclear waste are enough for that on their own, even without the Energy Bill)
The current impermanent secretary at DECC (who has just started and is probably a victim in all this as much as anyone) now has two years to engineer his gold plated severence package; that should give DECC a secret negociation deal it can concentrate on for the next two years which hopefully won't bankrupt the country in the process of delivery.