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Energy Policy (Regional Devolution)

Volume 594: debated on Thursday 19 March 2015

We are proposing further devolution to Scotland and Wales consistent with the need for an efficient and good-value energy system throughout Great Britain.

Is it not high time that the regions of the United Kingdom had a chance to have some power over energy policy? Yorkshire in particular, with its offshore wind power and its other resources, knows a lot about energy. Does not all the evidence show that if we grass-root energy policy, even at a community level, and give people ownership of it, perhaps through social systems of ownership, it works better? Taking energy policy down to the grass roots binds people into a good policy.

No matter how great a county Yorkshire is—it is, indeed, a great county—[Interruption.] —we need to make sure that the system works on a GB-wide basis and that it is as efficient as possible. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that the ability to access distribution networks and indeed the wider grid to ensure that those producing electricity can connect to nearby demand will enhance the ability of communities to play a part. I can see where he is going, but I am not sure that breaking up the GB-wide energy system is the best way to reach a solution.

I note that a Lancastrian Whip blurted out what might be described as a competitive chant when the right hon. Gentleman was hailing the merits of Yorkshire, but I will not draw any further attention to the matter.