Energy Secretary says low carbon energy plans will add less than £100 to bills

by ClickGreen staff. Published Thu 29 Nov 2012 00:01, Last updated: 2012-11-29
"We can get green energy at a price that is affordable," says Davey

Energy Secretary Ed Davey has defended today's Energy Bill and denied that the measures contained in the announcement will cause consumers' bills to soar.

Some critics expressed concern that the legislation - which will be introduced to Parliament today - will give the green light for Ministers to put £7.6 billion towards low-carbon power generation in 2020, up from £2.35 billion this year.

But Mr Davey said the cost of Government support for green energy will add less than £100 to the average household's bills annually.

According to reports, an estimated £110 billion is needed in the next decade to renew the UK's ageing electricity infrastructure, with much set to go into low-carbon power sources such as wind farms to cut emissions and keep the lights on.

Speaking on a visit to the National Grid's Electricity National Control Centre in Berkshire, Mr Davey said: "We want to make sure all this investment can come through in the least costly way so people's bills aren't put up by huge amounts and we think this Energy Bill will deliver on that.

"We believe we can get secure energy, green energy, at a price that is affordable.

"If you look at all our energy policies together with energy efficiency for example and our reforms to tariffs, we believe that people's bills will be lower in 2020 than they otherwise would have been because of the way we're helping people save energy."

He went on: "There's a real challenge in this decade because we're going to see lots of power stations coming to the end of their life.

"Coal power stations are closing down and nuclear power stations are closing down, so we've got to have a lot more new generation capacity coming on.

"Nearly 20% needs to be replaced so we need to make sure the electricity market provides the incentives for people to invest."

But green groups say the measures in the Bill do not go far enough, because it does not include decarbonisation targets, which were deferred until after the next General Election in 2016.

The Energy Bill has been the subject of political wrangling within the coalition, with Mr Davey voicing support for long-term limits on carbon emissions by the power sector and Chancellor George Osborne backing a second "dash for gas" with support for new gas power plants as a cheap source of electricity and tax relief for unconventional shale gas exploration in the UK.

But agreement has now been reached on a series of contentious issues.

"I'm particularly focusing on green energy," Mr Davey said. "What we announced, with the deal with the Chancellor and I coming together with a whole set of proposals including the Energy Bill, will see the biggest increase in green energy this country has ever seen.

"It's going to be a massive boost to renewables, a massive boost to low carbon. We need that to make sure we can tackle the challenge of climate change."

The Energy Secretary last week rejected accounts of a bitter row with the Chancellor, describing the long-running talks as a "good negotiation" leading to the two coalition parties "coming together (to) deliver the biggest boost to green energy".

He made clear that the legislation will not rule out future abated gas plants or the exploitation of shale gas reserves through innovative "fracking" technologies in areas such as Lancashire.

Labour has condemned the Bill's failure to set a limit for the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted per megawatt hour of power from the electricity sector by 2030.

Although there is no 2030 target, the inclusion of a power to establish one in 2016, when the Government's advisers on climate change are set to recommend how much carbon emissions should be cut by 2030 across the economy, is being claimed as a victory for Mr Davey.

The Government believes the spending level agreed for low-carbon power subsidies will allow the UK to meet goals to supply 30% of electricity from renewables by 2020 and also fund other low-carbon technology including nuclear and fossil fuel power plants where emissions are captured and stored.

The Government will also announce plans for making sure energy intensive industries are exempt from the extra costs on bills of introducing long-term contracts that will give a guaranteed price to energy firms for low-carbon power.

The terms of the exemption are being considered by the Energy and Business Departments and are separate from a £250 million scheme to compensate certain energy intensive industries for additional costs resulting from measures which require power companies to pay for the emissions from fossil fuelled electricity.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: "Energy intensive industries are an important part of the UK economy, in terms of economic output and employment throughout the supply chain.

"There would be no advantage - both for the UK economy and for global emissions reductions - in simply forcing UK businesses to relocate to other countries.

"The transition to the low carbon economy will depend on products made by energy intensive industries - a wind turbine for example needing steel, cement and high-tech textiles.
"This exemption will ensure the UK retains the industrial capacity to support a low carbon economy."

Sign up to receive ClickGreen's FREE weekly newsletter with a review of all the latest green news and views

Comments about Energy Secretary says low carbon energy plans will add less than £100 to bills

It seems to me that the government should be looking at every household & Educating them on how to save energy now , this winter.
Robin Gell, North Yorkshire around 2 years, 12 months ago

Post a comment

Alert me of replies

You have characters left


Latest issue of GreenWeek

Powered by Click Creative
© All Rights Reserved.