ERC Research Papers

Energy Policy: Which way for the UK?

Published January 2012
by Nigel Hawkins
ISBN 9780903499316

The lack of a serious energy policy in the UK is leading to the possibility that the country could be left short of a reliable electricity supply in the next five to ten years. This really is something that must be addressed, and quickly, or we will face potentially disastrous consequences that will have an impact on the whole economy.

We are very pleased that Nigel Hawkins, author of previous ERC Research Papers “New Nuclear Build in the UK” and “Aqua Britannia!”, has revisited the question of the imminent dangers facing the UK energy supply in this latest paper.

Key Points:

 Having wasted over a decade in addressing the UK’s energy supply gap - much of which was predictable as North Sea gas reserves ran down - the Government is now faced with devising a strategy to prevent serious risks to electricity supplies from c2015 onwards.

 Despite the plethora of White Papers - including that published in July 2011 - and Consultation Documents in recent years, the fate of future UK electricity provision lies principally with the six integrated energy companies - EdF, E.On, RWE, Iberdrola, Centrica, and SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy). Importantly, the four international companies have both high net debt as well as formidable investment programmes outside the UK.

 To reduce the security of supply risk substantially, the UK has just one priority - to build new base-load generation plant, whether gas-fired, coal-fired or nuclear. With very few exceptions, renewables generation - to which successive Governments have accorded an undeserved priority and massive funds - cannot generate base-load electricity.


Members can download this publication here.



Non-members can purchase ERC publications via Paypal.  Please select the title and format (where available) of the publication you wish to order from the drop-down menu below.

 If ordering a paper copy, please allow up to 5 working days for delivery.  If ordering a digital copy, it will be emailed to you as soon as possible following payment (usually within 1 working day).

Delivery Method

Other Publications

The full list to purchase research papers from the archives, and their paper and electronic availabilities, is below.

Research Paper Name Paper Electronic
Energy Policy: Which Way for the UK? Y Y
Aqua Britannia! Y Y
The Essential Guide to EU Quangos 2009 N Y
The Digest of Energy Statistics 2008 Y Y
New Nuclear Build in the UK - The Criteria for Delivery Y Y
Playing with Monetary Fire Y Y
The Spectre at the Economic Feast N N
Cracks in the Foundations? N Y
Creative Destruction in the Music Industry - The Way Ahead Y Y
Cost Effective Defence Y Y
The New Economics of Energy Security Y Y
The Essential Guide to British Quangos 2005 N N
Electrifying Britain - forward with Coal, Gas or Nuclear? N Y
Family Structure and Economic Outcomes Y N
Recharging The Nation Y Y
Identity and Development N Y
Forward with the Euro and the Pound N Y
The Deadweight State N Y
VAT: The Unacceptable Face of Taxation? N Y


For older publications, please see our Historical Archive.