Workshop report – International workshop on public ownership of energy

David Hawkey, Margaret Tingey, Janette Webb

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


With the UK Labour party, Scottish National Party (and Government), and Plaid Cymru all proposing creation of publicly owned energy companies (POECs), this two-day workshop responded to the re-emerging European debate about public and private sectors roles in the economy. Academics and practitioners discussed the evidence and arguments for and against public ownership of energy networks, power generation, gas supply, energy retailing and energy services. Energy systems and clean energy are fundamental to economy and society, but there are questions about whether ownership matters to performance, costs, efficiency and carbon intensity. In Germany many, but not all, municipalities are bringing energy networks back into public ownership, with envisaged public benefits from control over types of investment, pricing and revenues. In Denmark the relation between commercial operation of municipal energy companies and the political objectives of their owners are debated and contested. UK opinion surveys find majority support for public ownership, but what should the objectives and business structures of any public enterprises be?

This report summarises workshop discussions, which were held under the Chatham House Rule. The Workshop Programme and presentations are available on the Heat and the City website.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
EventInternational Workshop on Publicly Owned Energy Companies - Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 May 201811 May 2018


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