The UK government’s long-awaited Energy Bill will go before Parliament this afternoon for its second reading.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey defended the Bill yesterday, saying:
“The Energy Bill will bring about a renaissance in our energy sector, providing the certainty companies need to invest a record £110 billion to upgrade our ageing power stations. This will support our economic recovery, resulting in thousands of new jobs… [and] enable us to keep the lights on and to keep bills affordable for consumers, whilst leading to a significant decarbonisation of the power sector in order to meet our climate targets.”
Despite much outside pressure to include a 2030 decarbonisation target in the Bill, Davey said the government would only pledge to take a decision following advice from the Climate Change Committee in 2016.
But in a blistering attack from the chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Tim Yeo has warned that failing to set a target raises doubts about the “depth of the government’s commitment” to its climate change targets and vowed to try and add an amendment to the legislation to ensure that a target is included.
“There is a danger that confusing and contradictory messages are being sent out by different parts of government – on the one hand backing a big new dash for gas, and on the other insisting that it can still cut carbon emissions,” he said.
He cautioned that “gambling on gas” could be costly and said he would not “stand by and watch the wrong decisions be made on energy policy”.
Yeo says that he wants to see an amendment added that would require power plants to produce less than 100 g of CO2 per kWh of electricity.
“The Energy Bill is an opportunity for us to create a world-leading, clean and advanced electricity system that is fit for the 21st century. But without a target to phase out fossil fuels, it may fail,” he warned.
The latest version of the Bill will also include measures to limit the number of tariffs energy suppliers can offer to consumers to just four and require them to put customers onto the lowest suitable tariff.
The government expects the Bill, subject to Parliamentary approval, to receive Royal Assent next year so that the electricity market reform laid out in the legislation can be up and running by 2014 as planned.
UK government fails to deliver decarbonisation target in Energy Bill (23-Nov)
UK Parliamentary committee urge Chancellor to back energy policy (20-Nov)
UK business leaders echo call for 2030 power sector decarbonisation (14-Nov)
Renewable, nuclear and CCS industries unite to call for UK decarbonisation target (5-Nov)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5648/