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Department for Trade and Industry - Nukes or Renewables?

This was one of the central dilemmas addressed by 250 experts in energy policy for the Department of Trade and Industry during a Dialogue by Design public consultation in 2002.

DTI formulated nine questions around future energy policy to be answered by academics, businesses, NGOs, unions and independent energy consultants. Among them were, for example, ''How can the UK achieve secure, low-carbon energy with minimum impact on competitiveness? and ''What does keeping the nuclear option mean to you?'', and others covering energy efficiency and renewables.

During the first session, open for two weeks, the invited experts submitted in total over a thousand detailed responses. Dialogue by Design collated these in two days and produced a 20-page summary describing the main thrusts of responses to each of the nine questions.

In the second session the experts were invited to look at each other's responses, review the summary, and respond to further questions stimulated by points made during the first session.

Among the comments we received from participants were the following:

"This is an excellent and focused way of consulting stakeholders on a particular policy area."

"This is an excellent way to engage in this sort of debate. It is informative, leisurely, comprehensive, and doesn't require several hours of travel or a day out of the office. I would certainly encourage the DTI and other similar agencies to consider this sort of consultation process in the future."

The final report was presented at a DTI conference in October 2002.

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