‘Less politics, more policy’ needed in energy market reforms

Energy secretary Ed Davey has moved to assure business leaders that the government will provide certainty to potential investors in the nation’s energy generating capacity.

In a speech today hosted by the CBI in London, Davey claimed that the forthcoming Energy Bill would unlock billions in investment which is needed to maintain capacity and replace ageing power stations within the next ten years – much of which must come from renewables if the UK is to meet legally binding carbon reduction targets by 2020.

Speaking alongside Ed Davey, CBI director-general Dr Neil Bentley had urged the government to move quickly and provide clarity for an energy industry which has been rocked by recent price rises and confusion over the coalition’s support for renewables following several statements in support of gas.

Bentley said: “While we support the government’s direction of travel, the speed of progress is pretty frustrating. The Energy Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, to boost our economy as well as head of our energy challenges. We need less politics, more policy.

“Most modelling shows future European gas prices rising, with or without an influx of unconventional gas, and so from both a cost and security perspective, a mixed portfolio of generating technologies looks favourable.

“So let’s stop arguing over the energy mix and focus on attracting investment to create jobs and growth as quickly as possible.”

Ed Davey said: “The coalition is absolutely committed to getting these reforms right, through legislation and through the signals we send. We have listened to investors.

“Low carbon is a fast growing sector, where we know there are shovel-ready projects ready to create jobs and inject investment into local economies up and down the UK. This vital infrastructure will power our economy and keep energy affordable for decades to come.”