From nationalisation to state control – the return of centralised energy planning


Colin Robinson, IEA, December 2013


For a short period, around the turn of the millennium, the UK energy market was highly competitive, offering choice to consumers and keeping prices in check. Since then, governments have reverted to centralised action. In particular, they effectively control the types of power stations that are built, even though they lack relevant knowledge. The government’s interventionist approach is also encouraging inappropriate proposals (such as price freezes and windfall taxes) that would have perverse effects and are another step along the road to central control. Less government action and more competition to protect consumers are required.


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