Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group

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The All-Party Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, (PRASEG) is an All-Party Parliamentary Group for UK politicians and senior industry stakeholders that exists to promote sustainable energy issues in the UK Parliament and the wider political community.

The PRASEG website states:

We hold regular events in Westminster to discuss policy barriers to the development of the market for sustainable energy technologies - renewables, energy efficiency and combined heat and power. We have over 126 parliamentary members and 250 industry members.[1]

PRASEG is based in Grosvenor Gardens house (since it inception in 2000)[2], sharing a building with the Combined Heat and Power Association, the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy and other liberal green technology and carbon offsetting groups whose interests they represent.

It was previously an associate parliamentary group until the APG rules were changed in 2015.

Activities

According to its website, PRASEG monitors

Parliamentary activity and legislation that involves, or has an impact on sustainable energy. This activity includes Parliamentary questions, which can provide useful information from Government departments, Parliamentary debates between Members of Parliament and Early Day Motions which help to show the level of Parliamentary support for particular topics. In addition to this, a number of Select Committees investigate particular sustainable energy policy areas. Their conclusions and recommendations are published in the form of a final report.[3]
PRASEG holds monthly seminars in Westminster, whilst Parliament is sitting. We normally invite a Government Minister or representative to discuss policy barriers to the development of the market for sustainable energy technologies - renewables, energy efficiency and combined heat and power.
PRASEG also run annual conferences with ministers (such as the biofuels conference), energy companies and green technologists, and host the 'sustainable energy awards'.[4]

People

Officers, April 2016

Officers November 2015-February 2016

Members in 2015 listed on the PRASEG website

Nigel Adams | Peter Aldous | David Amess | David Anderson | Gavin Barwell | Paul Beresford | Luciana Berger | Kirsty Blackman | Peter Bottomley | Benjamin Bradshaw | Kevin Brennan | Andrew Bridgen | Nicholas Brown | Dawn Butler | Alun Cairns | Greg Clark | Oliver Colvile | David Crausby | Jim Cunningham | Alex Cunningham | Nic Dakin | David Davis | Jackie Doyle-Price | Jack Dromey | Philip Dunne | Mark Durkan | Maria Eagle | Jonathan Edwards | Julie Elliott | Natascha Engel | Bill Esterson | Graham Evans | Caroline Flint | Paul Flynn | George Freeman | Barry Gardiner | David Gauke | Nick Gibb | Pat Glass | Mary Glindon | Helen Goodman | Nia Griffith | David Hanson | John Hayes | Chris Heaton-Harris | Lady Sylvia Hernon | Kelvin Hopkins | Stewart Hosie | Ben Howlett | Huw Irranca-Davies | Susan Elan Jones | Helen Jones | David Jones | Simon Kirby | David Lammy | Ian Lavery | Jeremy Lefroy | Charlotte Leslie | Ian Liddell-Grainger | Tim Loughton | Ian Lucas | Caroline Lucas | Karen Lumley | Stephen McCabe | Kerry McCarthy | John McDonnell | Alan Meale | Ian Mearns | Alun Michael | Anne Milton | Madeleine Moon | David Morris | Ian Murray | Bob Neil | Chi Onwurah | Guy Opperman | Albert Owen | Ian Paisley Jnr | Neil Parish | Matthew Pennycock | Andrew Percy | Toby Perkins | Christopher Pincher | Rebecca Pow | Jonathan Reynolds | Margaret Ritchie | Andrew Rosindell | Jim Shannon | Virenda Sharma | Barry Sheerman | John Spellar | Andrew Stephenson | Graham Stringer | Robin Walker | Charles Walker | Charles Walker | Michael Weir | Chris White | Eilidh Whiteford | Alan Whitehead | Hywel Williams | Mark Williams | Iain Wright | Baroness Barbara Young | Lord Tim Boswell | Lord Ewan Cameron |Bishop Peter Robert Forster | Baroness Susan Miller | Baron Roy Kennedy | Baroness Anne Jenkin | Lord Julian Hunt | Lord Philip Hunt | Lord Christopher Suenson-Taylor | Lord Robert Dixon-Smith | Baroness Elspeth Howe | Lord Martin O'Neill | Lord John Taylor Lord| Robin Teverson | Lord Nicol Stephen | Lord Roger Bootle-Wilbraham | Lord Chris Smith | Lord Rupert Mitford | Lord David Puttnam | Lord Simon Haskel | Lord Ronald Oxburgh | Lord John Laird | Baroness Susan Kramer | Baroness Diana Maddock | Baroness Joyce Quin | Lord Larry Whitty | Lord Alfred Dubs [7]

People

Officers

Vice Chairs 2011:

Secretary 2011

Treasurer 2011

Qualifying Members 2011

[8]

Vice Chairs 2009:

Past Officers

Presiding MP's have not varied much over the last 9 years. Key figures are Alan Whitehead, Gareth Thomas and Andrew Robathan.

2000

Vice Chairmen:

Core sponsors in 2000 are listed as AEA Technology plc | BG Group Plc |BG Transco plc | British Wind Energy Association | Combined Heat and Power Association | Energy Saving Trust | Greenpeace | Heat Pump Association | National Windpower | Powergen | Shell Renewables Ltd | WWF. [14]

2001

Vice Chairs

2002

Vice Chairs

2003 til 2005

Chair

Vice Chairs

2006 and 2007

Chair

Vice Chairs

Directors

Qualifying members

As of 18th Nov 2009 the House of commons website names 20 qualifying MPs covering each political party:[20]

Labour

Conservative

Lib Dem

Scottish National Party

Parliamentary or business-led?

PRASEG is both an All-Party Parliamentary Group and a company registered at Companies House, where it lists directors who are non-parliamentary industry representatives. Although there is nothing in the rules for all party groups which specifically mentions double registering groups, or groups which are a company offshoot, the Parliamentary Commission for Standards calls it 'very unusual' and can give no other examples of all party groups which are also registered companies (there are several which are charities - such as the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS)).[21]

There are a number of discrepancies between the PRASEG company website and the official register of the group on the Parliamentary web pages which make it difficult to tell to what extent the group is politically or business led and suggest that PRASEG is largely an industry interest group which dictates policy to parliament.

The PRASEG website [22] gives contact details as coordinator Rose Dickinson based at Grosvenor Gardens House, while the official parliamentary register [23] gives Dr Alan Whitehead MP (the Labour party chair of the group) and an address and phone number at the House of Commons.

Rules for all party groups state that the contact person must be one of the officers (a member of the Lords or Commons), and all correspondence must go through this person. It is suggested that PRASEG may be in breach of this rule[24] as though on the parliamentary register everything appears above board, inquiries are likely to be directed straight to the company and not the 'official' parliamentary group.

Both websites fail to mention the existence of any 'directors' of PRASEG. But in fact PRASEG is registered as a company at companies House and 'directors' include David Green and David Porter, both of who work for organisations which support PRASEG, and in David Green's case (the UK Business Council For Sustainable Energy) is also based in the same building in Grosvenor Gardens. The author cannot find any evidence that this contravenes the rule for all party groups.[25]

The website (www.praseg.org.uk) itself is today generally sparse, with only 6 pages (though older versions contained much news, meeting reports and links[26]) and does not link to any of PRASEG's multiple reports, awards, conferences, updates or other events which can be found on mainstream search engines (for example those mentioned below). It does contain a members only area which is password protected.

The group also runs another, almost identical website at http://tialush.com/blog/ which lists Kirsty Walton as a contact, at Grosvenor Gardens House. The front page of this site appears to be in Latin and contains more password protected areas.

Events

PRASEG holds a number of conferences, and fringe events at party political conferences. The 2008 Biofuels Conference included speeches from Jim Fitzpatrick MP [27].

PRASEG were also key sponsors of the 2006 Renewable Energy Exhibition.[28]

PRASEG's position on sustainable energy

As PRASEG claims of itself;

In its 25 years, PRASEG has remained a key information source for parliamentarians and stake-holders, enabling clear dissemination of information on innovative technologies and pioneering policy initiatives.[29]

With around 150 parliamentarians and 250 industry groups represented this makes it a powerful and reputable body and generator of opinion. However PRASEG's final reports are not accessible to the public and it is hard to establish what kind of opinion they might be forming within parliament. The large energy company membership as well as PRASEG company directors who represent them (David Porter and David Green) suggests that their view will represent large energy interests, which predominantly push for low cost technology, carbon trading and other measures which support business as usual energy production. This is likely to include nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, bio-fuels and liberal carbon trading mechanisms.

Awards

Recipients of PRASEG's fairly prestigious annual awards for efforts in lobbying Westminster on 'sustainable' energy (known as the Sustainable Oscars) include;

2009:

The 2009 awards was judged by David Green and awards presented by Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Hunt.[33]

2007:

  • David Green 2007 Individual Achievement Award (he is also a director of the group).

The 2007 and 2008 awards were hosted by Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister of State for Energy, and held in The Commonwealth Club, London. [34]

2005:

The 2005 awards ceremony was sponsored by E.ON and Scottish Power. [37] and awards were presented by Lord Whitty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

PRASEG in turn won the Advocate Award at the 2007 Renewable Energy Awards at the Savoy Hotel, London. [38]

Funding and corporate members

Supporting members

ABB Ltd | AECOM Ltd | Airvolution Energy | Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) | The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) | Baxi Group | Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd | BP International | BRE | British Sugar | Camborne Capital Ltd | Capita | Carillion | Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) | CIBSE | City of London Corporation | Cornwall Energy | Cynergin | Daikin UK | DONG Energy | Durham Energy Institute | DRAX | DWF LLP | EDF Energy | EIC | Electricity Storage Network | Elexon | ENA | Ener-G | Energy Technologies Institute | Energy UK | Enertek | EUA | Forewind UK | Good Energy | HG Capital | Hill & Knowlton | Honeywell Control Systems Ltd | HVCA (building & engineering services | Ice Energy | IDHEE | IET | Intelligent Energy | IT Power | Keepomat | Kreab Gavin Anderson | Land Use Consultants | LDA Design | Low Carbon Contracts Company | MHP Communications | Mineral Products Association (MPA) | NAPIT | National Energy Foundation | NEA | Northern Powergrid Ltd | Nuclear Industry Association | Ofgem | Over Arup & Partners | OST Energy | Parsons Brinckerhoff | Partnership for Renewables | Peel Energy | Plant, Engineering and Carbon Capture - University of Edinburgh | Primrose Solar Management | Quatro | The Remarkable Group | RES - Renewable Energy Company | REA | Riverstone | Ricardo - AEA Technology | Royal Haskoningdhv | Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Birds (RSPB) | Solar Trade Association | Scottish Power | Shell | Siemens | SmartestEnergy | SummitSkills | Taylor Keogh | The Crown Estate (PO) | The Environment Exchange | UK Energy Research Centre | UK Power Networks | University of Southampton | Vattenfall | Viessman | Warwick Energy Ltd | Which? | WWF UK [39]

Funding

It was registered on 29 February 2016 that PRASEG had paid (in bands of £1,500) £22,501-£24,000 in its secretariat capacity to the group. [5]

Though the PRASEG website states supporting members as above, the House of Commons website stated that as of June 2010 it received benefits from the following sources outside Parliament:

£2,500 received from each of the following: BG Group, Carbon Trust, Centrica, Conoco Phillips, E.ON UK, National Grid, NPower Renewables, Renewable UK, Sharp, Solar Century (registered June 2010).[40]

Previously it stated that as of 18 November 2009:[41]

'The group's activities are funded and administered wholly by PRASEG Ltd. (and)

In 2004 the registered company PRASEG Ltd, derived income from subscription fees (£500); money raised from ticket sales to events organised as part of the group's work; and sponsorship.[43]

In 2007 the House of Commons website states funding from:

and: One ticket, for group's administrator, for Newbury races and RWE corporate sponsor's box (registered October 2007).' [44]

Ordinary members

Covers a range of large industries and energy companies, and a few NGOs and environmental groups. [45]

Contact

The public enquiry point for the group is Scott Reid.

Address: PRASEG Ltd, 6th Floor, 10 Dean Farrar Street, London SW1H 0D

Tel: 020 7222 2546

Email: info@praseg.org.uk

Notes

  1. PRASEG About us, Accessed 16/11/09
  2. praseg website year 2000 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  3. PRASEG Parliamentary Work, Accessed 16/11/09
  4. PRASEG Events, Accessed 16/11/09
  5. 5.0 5.1 Renewable and Sustainable Energy APPG, Register 28 April 2016, parliament.uk, accessed 11 May 2016
  6. APPG on Renewable and Sustainable Energy, parliament.uk, accessed 9 February 2016
  7. 'Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group Membership', praseg.org, accessed 6 November 2015
  8. House of Commons, Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Register Of All-Party Groups [as at 28th April 2011], accessed 22 June 2011
  9. PRASEG Contact Us, accessed 18 November 2009
  10. Parliament.uk all party groups, Accessed 16/12/09
  11. House of Commons, Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Register Of All-Party Groups [as at 28th April 2011], accessed 22 June 2011
  12. House of Commons website Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, accessed 18 November 2009
  13. praseg website year 2000 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  14. praseg website year 2000 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  15. praseg website year 2001 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  16. praseg website year 2002 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  17. praseg website year 2003 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  18. praseg website year 2006 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  19. Registered Directors at Companies House, December 2009
  20. Register of All-Party Groups: Section 2: Subject Groups, UK Parliament website, accessed 18 Nov 2009
  21. Phonecall with Phillipa Wainwright, Assistant Registrar at Parliamentary Commission for Standards. 13/01/10
  22. PRASEG Contact Us, Accessed 16/12/09
  23. Parliament.uk all party groups, Accessed 16/12/09
  24. parliament.uk Rules for all party groups Accessed 16/12/09
  25. parliament.uk Rules for all party groups Accessed 16/12/09
  26. praseg website year 2006 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  27. Department for Transport PRASEG Biofuels conference 2008 speech accessed 16/12/09
  28. [www.fuelcellmarkets.com/content/images/articles/Leaflet%20-%20final.pdf Renewable Energy Exhibition leaflet. Sponsors] Accessed 13/01/10
  29. [www.fuelcellmarkets.com/content/images/articles/Leaflet%20-%20final.pdf Renewable Energy Exhibition leaflet. Sponsors] Accessed 13/01/10
  30. Redhill And Reigate Life. 'MP picks up second environmental award' December 8, 2009.
  31. ENER-G website news and media accessed 16/12/09
  32. ENER-G website news and media accessed 16/12/09
  33. ENER-G website news and media accessed 16/12/09
  34. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Ministerial Speeches 2008accessed 16/12/09
  35. Morley Today. 'MP Colin is the Commons environmental champion'. February 17, 2005
  36. Morley Today. 'MP Colin is the Commons environmental champion'. February 17, 2005
  37. Morley Today. 'MP Colin is the Commons environmental champion'. February 17, 2005
  38. Alan-Whitehead.org PRASEG wins Green Oscaraccessed 16/12/09
  39. 'Membership of Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group', praseg.org, accessed 18 February 2016
  40. House of Commons, Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Register Of All-Party Groups [as at 28th April 2011], accessed 22 June 2011
  41. Register of All-Party Groups, Section 2: Subject Groups, UK Parliament website, accessed 17 Nov 2009
  42. House of commons website PRASEG, Accessed 18/11/09
  43. praseg website year 2004 Internet Archiveaccessed 16/12/09
  44. House of Commons. All party parlientary groups 2007. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group Internet Archiveaccessed 09/02/10
  45. PRASEG Ordinary members, Accessed 16/11/09