Department of Energy (United Kingdom)
The Department of Energy was a department of the United Kingdom Government. The Department was established in January 1974, when the responsibility for energy production was transferred away from the Department of Trade and Industry in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis and with the importance of North Sea oil increasing.
Following the privatisation of the energy industries in the United Kingdom, which had begun some ten years earlier, the Department was abolished in 1992. Many of its functions were abandoned, with the remainder being absorbed into other bodies or departments. The Office of Gas Supply (Ofgas) and the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) took over market regulation, the Energy Efficiency Office was transferred to the Department of the Environment, and various media-related functions were transferred to the Department for National Heritage. The core activities relating to UK energy policy were transferred back to the DTI.
The Department of Energy was a significant source of funding for energy research, and for investigations into the potential for renewable energy technologies in the UK. Work funded or part-funded by the DoE included investigations into Geothermal power and the Severn Barrage
Secretary of State for Energy
|Name||Term of office||Political party||Prime Minister|
|Lord Carrington||8 January 1974||4 March 1974||Conservative||Edward Heath|
|Eric Varley||5 March 1974||10 June 1975||Labour||Harold Wilson|
|Tony Benn||10 June 1975||4 May 1979||Labour|
|David Howell||5 May 1979||14 September 1981||Conservative||Margaret Thatcher|
|Nigel Lawson||14 September 1981||11 June 1983||Conservative|
|Peter Walker||11 June 1983||13 June 1987||Conservative|
|Cecil Parkinson||13 June 1987||24 July 1989||Conservative|
|John Wakeham||24 July 1989||11 April 1992||Conservative|
|Department abolished 1992. Functions transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry.|
Earlier and later ministries
Although only formed in 1974, the Department of Energy was not the first ministry to handle energy-related matters. The Ministry of Fuel and Power was created on 11 June 1942 from functions separated from the Board of Trade. It took charge of coal production, allocation of supplies of fuels, control of energy prices and petrol rationing during World War II.
The Ministry of Fuel and Power was renamed the Ministry of Power in January 1957. The Ministry of Power later became part of the Ministry of Technology on 6 October 1969, which merged into the Department of Trade and Industry on 20 October 1970.
The post of Secretary of State for Energy was re-created in 2008 as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
- UK National Energy Policy and Energy Overview, Energy Trands, published 2002-06-04, accessed 2007-03-22.
- Contribution of Renewable Energy Technologies to Future Energy Requirements (Abstract), D. H. Buckley-Golder, R. G. Derwent, K. F. Langley, J. F. Walker, A. V. Ward, JSTOR, accessed 2007-03-22.
- Brean Down barrage plan unveiled by Welsh businessman, Burnham-on-sea.com, published 2006-03-04, accessed 2007-03-22.