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UK placed on energy watch list

worldwide energyBeing put on a list is rarely a good thing, perhaps waiting for a new iPhone could be classed as such, but then again is paying through the nose to look cool for the day good? Regardless the latest list on which the UK energy market has been placed is definitely not good.

The World Energy Council and management consultants Oliver Wyman have placed the UK on an energy ‘watch’ list.

That is not the whole story however with the UK one of just three of the 129 countries monitored being given a AAA rating for the affordability and sustainability of energy supplies.

It is the context however of these findings however that is causing concern.


The UK comes fourth in the overall world ranking, behind Switzerland, Sweden and Norway.

In addition the UK makes it into the top 10 for energy security.

However it is placed outside the top 10 for both the sustainability and affordability of supplies.


As a result it has been placed on “negative watch”.

The UK is however in good company with Japan, Germany and Italy similarly placed on the naughty step.

Explaining the UK’s position, the Executive Chairwoman of the World Energy Trilemma work, Joan MacNaughton, said:

“One of the things that are important is the trend. Over the last three years there has been a downward trend in the performance of the UK.

“In particular, its energy security is down. It’s still just in the top 10, but it’s come down quite a lot since 2012. Affordability has worsened significantly.

“Clearly there are issues that the UK would want to look at, but it is one of only three countries that get a AAA rating so it’s still doing very well.

“Even countries with strong incumbent energy infrastructure are having a hard time balancing their energy trilemma, while many others are still struggling to meet their population’s basic energy needs.

“The persistent gap and future barriers to energy funding will only exacerbate an already fragile global energy system. Clearly countries must act now to reverse this oncoming storm. There is no time for complacency.”

The reasons for the slide in rankings and the UK’s place on the watch list will be familiar to regular readers:

  • Declining domestic oil and gas production
  • Significant question marks over shale oil and gas extraction
  • The closure of ageing coal and nuclear plants,
  • Delays to new nuclear reactors
  • Poor economics for new gas plant investments,
  • Reticence on the part of investors in an uncertain market

With the World Energy Council’s recognition of the decline in the UK’s ranking in their Energy Trilemma report, the UK’s ability to successfully balance secure, equitable and clean energy resources is increasingly in doubt as the fragmented and dysfunctional nature of the UK energy market resounds across national boundaries.