A new report from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers predicts that the UK will be facing a significant energy gap in the next decade as a result of phasing out nuclear and coal-fired energy production. If their predictions are taken seriously by the energy sector, we would expect it to spur an increase in public affairs recruitment over the next several years. Energy producers will have to make significant investments in making their voices heard before it's too late.
The UK is already on a path to eventually being free of nuclear power generation. Older nuclear facilities are being shut down with the promise of being replaced by gas-fired plants. However, using natural gas to generate electricity is still in the idea stage. As theGuardian explains, there are no concrete plans in place to build those plants. Meanwhile, ever more restrictive rules are putting the coal industry and coal-fired energy production in danger.
The Institute of Mechanical Engineers believes that without a change in current government policy, there will be no way for the UK to meet the demand for electricity by 2025. For energy producers, it is a matter of encouraging the government to change its current policies now rather than later. Thus the potential increase in public affairs recruitment.
Effectively Representing the Industry
There is little doubt of the effectiveness of lobbying on public policy. The loudest and most consistent voices are the ones government officials listen to more often than not, which is why so many companies invest so heavily in public policy experts. Those experts represent their employers. They undoubtedly represent the future of the energy industry.
The UK has very ambitious goals for the energy sector over the next several decades. If these objectives are to be met, the government simply cannot sit on its hands and hope that we will maintain a safe level of power generation even as we phase out nuclear and coal. Failing to build enough new plants powered by natural gas could very well put us in a bad position in the near future.
We do not expect the energy sector will take all of this lying down. Even as we continue to put our efforts into public affairs recruitment, we anticipate the public policy experts in energy to be pushing for changes. Their very survival depends on it.