Ontemporary Economic Policy: Energy and Growth

” Each project should be approximately 4000 words in length.

In the summer of 2008 the oil price peaked at $147 per barrel. The UK is a net importer of petroleum based energy and the rapid increases in oil prices leading up to H1 2008 had important implications for monetary policy. In the winter of 2008/2009 Gazprom (the largest supplier of gas to the European market) again restricted the flow of energy to Europe following another transit dispute with the Ukraine. While the fall-out from this dispute was relatively minor in the European context both cases are illustrations of concerns with national energy security  an issue that is at the policy fore in a number of developed countries. The newly established Department for Energy and Climate Change has asked you to:

(i) Illustrate key trends in UK energy consumption in order to get a feel for the current and likely future exposure of the UK economy to developments in international oil and gas markets.

(ii) Explain why secure and reliable supplies of energy are important with respect to one of government s main policy objectives  sustainable growth and prosperity

(iii) Highlight possible implications of high energy prices and strategies that will allow it (us) to switch/substitute away from energy when prices spike?

Initial Reading

” Arnberg, S. & Bjorner, T.B. (2007)  Substitution between energy, capital and labour within industrial companies: a micro panel analysis , Resource and Energy Economics, 29:122-136.
” DECC (2008)  Energy Market Outlook December 2008 uk/whatwedo/energy/statistics/index.html

Office of National Statistics:

Statistical Review of World Energy:

World Bank World Development Indicators: accessible via your student account

Project Structure

Different projects require different structures, but the guide below is fairly representative of many published reports and papers.

(i) One page Executive Summary
(ii) Introduction: Aims and objectives of the study. The nature of the policy problem Structure of the report and the approach to the problem. A summary of the key findings.

(iii) Key data trends.

(iv) Theoretical approach to the analysis.

(v) Empirical analysis of the data, applying the theory.

(vi) Policy recommendations

(vii) Conclusions.
(viii) References (not dominated by web sources).

In assessing your projects, marker will be looking for:
1. Evidence of understanding the economic principles, concepts, theories and the
policy issues.
2. Addressing adequately all elements required by the question.
3. Degree of analysis and clarity of arguments.
4. Appropriate use of diagrams when necessary.
5. Appropriate style and presentation.
Presentation of written work:

Presentation is important. Please note that attention should be paid to presentation and format by including a title page, table of contents and list of figures and tables. Also you should adopt, where appropriate, a system of sections and subsections with a consistent hierarchy. [The civil service system of 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2.1 etc. can be used.] It is essential that references are given, indicated in the text by authors name and year of publication, e.g. Goodall (1988). The Harvard system of listing references should be given at the end of the paper before any appendices and annexes. The course lecturers will be glad to advise you on this system.