The World Energy Council's annual Trilemma Index has downgraded the UK's rating for energy and climate policies to AAB (down from AAA) while also saying that in the future Britain "faces significant challenges in securing energy supply". The index, released on 10 November, also stated that current government policies may "hinder investments" in wind and solar power.
In the six months since the last election, the current government has halted any new subsidies to onshore wind farms and is reviewing spending on solar projects and the feed-in tariff that means people who install renewable electricity-generating technology on their homes could make money for the energy they produce. The proposal to cut the feed-in tariff has been cited by a number of solar energy firms that have gone out of business.
The index noted that the UK's energy security rating does not yet reflect issues with power supply but that the rating is "expected to decrease in future rankings". The UK will face challenges securing energy supply because "domestic production of fossil fuels has steadily declined, nuclear power plants are being run down, and many coal plants will be forced to close due to changes in European legislation."
The World Energy Council plans to send the report to each country attending COP21 in Paris. Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma study, said: "For countries to move up in the rankings and remain ahead of the pack, they must adopt prudent, forward-looking energy policies to meet decarbonisation goals and maintain competitiveness. This report provides a map for the long road from Paris to help policymakers and businesses chart a sustainable course."
On 9 November, a leaked letter showed that the UK is not currently on target to meet the level of energy procured from renewable sources mandated by the EU by 2020.