The UK government reshuffle: the implications for energy and climate policy

  • Posted on 24th July 2014
The UK government reshuffle: the implications for energy and climate policy

Now that the dust has settled a little, it’s worth examining Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent reshuffle in more detail, and what it might mean for the coalition’s policies on climate change and energy between now and next May’s General Election.   Focusing on the personalities (for a moment)   Much has been made of the surprisingly sweeping changes which…

Continue Reading

Price comparison websites in the spotlight

  • Posted on 21st July 2014
Price comparison websites in the spotlight

Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) are popular tools amongst tech-savvy consumers, especially in the consumer goods, energy and financial sectors. The key to their attractiveness is that they allow consumers to quickly search for and compare the best deals in the market. PCWs usually operate on either a flat-fee, or a commission-based model and attract new customers via online and offline…

Continue Reading

Cameron shuffles his pack

  • Posted on 16th July 2014
Cameron shuffles his pack

Cabinet reshuffles under David Cameron have been noticeably less dramatic than those of his predecessors. This all changed yesterday. The news on Monday night that William Hague was resigning as Foreign Secretary, to be replaced by Philip Hammond, was the first bit of news to make waves well beyond the Westminster village. Arguably the biggest surprise was the news that…

Continue Reading

European Banking Authority begins the debate on an EU-wide virtual currency regulation

  • Posted on 15th July 2014
European Banking Authority begins the debate on an EU-wide virtual currency regulation

At the beginning of the month, the European Banking Authority (EBA), the institution charged with overseeing the European banking sector, proposed guidelines for a regulatory regime for virtual currency. The report has now been presented to the EU Council, Commission and Parliament for consideration. The report also issues guidelines for national supervisory bodies.   The report is an attempt to…

Continue Reading

Dark pools and the push for transparency

  • Posted on 14th July 2014
Dark pools and the push for transparency

Goldman Sachs received an $800,000 fine from US regulators a fortnight ago for failing to meet the guidelines for trading within a private forum. Private trading platforms, commonly known as dark pools, now account for 15% of all US trading over 40 closed exchanges. Regulators are beginning to take note and see how they can limit the risk involved.  …

Continue Reading

Wearable technology: market growth, rapid innovation and developing policy

  • Posted on 11th July 2014
Wearable technology: market growth, rapid innovation and developing policy

Clothes which measure your heart rate and locate you via GPS while you run. Smart watches that can be used as an extension of your smartphone. The ability to access the internet with your glasses.  These are just a few examples of the most recent wearable technology devices.   But is there enough demand for these innovative products? According to…

Continue Reading

Renewables: A case study of what (mostly) good policy can achieve

  • Posted on 9th July 2014
Renewables: A case study of what (mostly) good policy can achieve

For all that some of the media (in the UK at least) enjoy stirring the pot about the unsuitability of renewables projects because of their impact on the landscape, on local communities, etc, investors and the finance sector will tell you that is policy direction and regulatory stability which counts.   Germany – and Denmark – the European leaders on…

Continue Reading

Music streaming maintains its upward trajectory

  • Posted on 4th July 2014
Music streaming maintains its upward trajectory

The way in which people listen to music has been fundamentally changed by digital technology. The rapid growth in music streaming, in particular, has led some even to argue that it could destroy the music industry entirely. Regulators are having to deal with this digital shift as copyright rules, and other associated regulations, were often designed decades ago. The pace…

Continue Reading

Energy and environment: the Brussels institutions start getting back to business

  • Posted on 2nd July 2014
Energy and environment: the Brussels institutions start getting back to business

The questions of who will occupy the top jobs on environment and energy in Brussels over the next five years, particularly in the European Parliament (EP) and in the European Commission, will matter greatly. There is a big policy agenda ahead, coming at a testing time for European policies on energy markets and security of supply, which will have price…

Continue Reading

Sharing economy in cities: moving towards a more inclusive urban future

  • Posted on 1st July 2014
Sharing economy in cities: moving towards a more inclusive urban future

The sharing economy makes headlines daily: from anti-Uber protests across Europe to Airbnb’s recent £5.9bn valuation, new start-ups entering the private sector are offering more things to share (or rent, swap, borrow or barter) and more ways to do so.   Quietly and gradually, however, a parallel evolution is taking place in the public sector. While it doesn’t end up on the front…

Continue Reading