BEIS confirms energy ministerial portfolios

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has confirmed its eagerly awaited ministerial portfolios weeks after new prime minister Theresa May established the so-called super department.

While Greg Clark’s position as secretary of state and ministerial appointments were confirmed last month, it was not clear which ministers would take responsibility for the particular facets of the department’s remit.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe – who introduced herself to the House of Lords as energy minister, an appointment which was later said by BEIS spokespeople to have not been confirmed – has been named as the minister of state for energy and intellectual property.

Neville-Rolfe’s responsibilities are listed as including low carbon generation as well as nuclear and oil & gas, while she will also serve as the sole House of Lords representative for the entire department in what promises to be a significant workload.

Robert Ede, political consultant at Solar Power Portal’s policy partner The Whitehouse Consultancy, said that Neville-Rolfe was ideally suited to the role despite her lack of experience in the energy sector.

“Whilst her knowledge of energy and climate policy is limited at the moment, she has previously shown the capability to master a brief in a short time frame, and has some experience of encompassing environmental concerns in policymaking due to her time working in Whitehall,” he added.

She will be assisted by Jesse Norman, who has been named minister for industry and energy, while Nick Hurd has been handed the climate remit as minister of state for climate change and industry.

Secretary of state Clark said of his team: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.

“I’m supported by a great ministerial team and we will work tirelessly to deliver on all of these areas, which are vital for the future success of our country.”