Green energy policy 'inadequate'
The Government has been warned that its plans to overhaul the electricity market and save energy in homes will not ensure the UK has a secure, clean, affordable power sector.
Market reforms will bring in long-term contracts that pay a steady rate of return for energy from new low-carbon generators, to deliver the billions of pounds of investment needed for energy infrastructure to keep the lights on.
A "green deal" is being brought in to cover the upfront costs of energy efficiency measures for homes, with the money paid back from savings on bills, and companies are required to provide energy-saving measures for poor households.
But the University of Exeter, energy giant SSE, Consumer Focus and environmental charity WWF, along with a number of other consumer, industry and environmental organisations, have issued a warning that the measures were inadequate.
Government policies will not deliver the large energy savings needed to cut greenhouse emissions and ensure the UK's supplies are secure, they said.
The organisations raised concerns that developing low carbon power and energy efficiency measures would hit consumers, particularly people on low incomes, as they were funded through energy bills.
They said the plans would not provide the renewable energy sector with the certainty it needs to deliver investment and jobs in the UK. The group called for the Government to put efforts to reduce the use of energy at the heart of its policy and make energy affordable.
Revenues raised through the carbon floor price, which requires energy companies to pay a minimum price for the credits they have to purchase to cover their pollution, should be used to fund energy efficiency measures.
The proposals for long-term contracts for low-carbon electricity need to be reviewed to make sure they are suitable for renewables, as the scheme had been primarily designed to support new nuclear reactors.
Nick Molho, of WWF-UK, said: "Whilst we are all coming at this from different perspectives, we all want the UK to succeed in developing a clean, secure and affordable power sector and are deeply concerned that current Government proposals are just not up to the job."
- Brierley Hill Schoolboys My first sporting heroes
- Dudley's Stick of Dynamite, Dennis Stevens
- 'The Story of England's Goalkeeper Bert Williams of The Wolves'
- Exploring Dudley Tunnel and Limestone Mines in the 1970s
- Remembering an Oldbury pub in its 1920s heyday
- 'Although it stands slanting, it's really enchanting, and an ideal place for a spree' The Siden House song