UK Energy Secretary promises Energy Bill “within weeks”

Posted at October 18, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK Energy Secretary promises Energy Bill “within weeks”

The UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey, in a speech to senior figures in the energy sector at the CBI this morning, promised that the government’s long-awaited Energy Bill will be published “within weeks”.

The Bill will be published next month as planned to give time for a second reading before Christmas.

The latest version of the legislation will aim to give the market more certainty over the arrangements for Contracts for Difference, which promise to smooth out market volatility by providing a ‘fair price’ for low-carbon electricity. 

As has already been discussed, the Bill will also contain measures to introduce a Capacity Market, to ensure a reliable electricity supply.

But what will also be included? There was no definitive word from Davey on whether Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise that energy suppliers will be forced to put customers on the lowest tariff will be in the legislation.

Nor on whether the broad-ranging calls for the introduction of a decarbonisation target will be heeded, although Davey did admit:

“A strong case has been made by many investors in energy infrastructure for a decarbonisation target range for the power sector. Such a range would make clear our continued commitment to our climate goals.”

Ahead of the publication of the Bill, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) today listed ten ‘asks’ that the organizations says are key for the renewables industry.

“It is essential that government gets electricity market reform right if it is to secure 30% of the UK’s electricity from renewables by 2020 and stand a chance of meeting our 2020 renewables targets,” says chief executive Gaynor Hartnell.

Among the most pressing points, says the REA, are the setting of a 2030 decarbonisation target, a fair and transparent process for awarding contracts, and a clear route to market for electricity sales.

“Additional capacity is desperately needed on the system, and relative to other low carbon options, renewables can be deployed quickly and cheaply. Government should listen very carefully to our asks,” she adds.

Those ‘asks’ have also been sent to over 100 MPs today in a bid to raise the issues ahead of the forthcoming debate.

The REA also warns that unless there is a period of overlap between the existing Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme and the new regime there could be a long investment hiatus.

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Related stories:
UK energy firms have to put customers on lowest tariff… or will they? (18-Oct)
UK consumer group Which? calls for energy price review (17-Oct)
UK businesses calls for 2030 carbon target to unleash investment (8-Oct)
UK Energy Secretary defends Energy Bill against “myths” (12-Sept)

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