The Global View

Mandatory smart meters on their way?

meterConsultation is about to start on the UK government plans to mandate the use of smart electricity meters (like the one pictured, from Better Generation) to help cut consumer power consumption.

The plan is part of the Energy White Paper, published in May, that covers everything from carbon dioxide emissions to dependence on imported fuel, from the potential for distributed power generation to a brand new target to cut CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050.

It’s also the launchpad for 17 consultations, including industrial emission reductions and consumer electronics (already started), CO2 from cars and the code for sustainable homes (by the end of the year), and the smart meter scheme (expected this week).The biggest issue of all is whether or not the UK should build more nuclear power stations. And, if so, how the private sector can be persuaded to build and run the eye-wateringly expensive facilities. It looks like, politically, the green agenda may be the clincher in favour of nuclear power. And, economically, the fixed pricing of carbon, may secure the much-needed commercial investment. Ironic indeed.