Statement on Energy Policy
Ed Davey

Diversity is the key to our future energy security. Without output from the North Sea in decline, we are now a net importer of gas, making us more vulnerable to volatile world gas prices.

Gas will remain a vital part of our energy portfolio, but the Government is determined to reduce our dependence on expensive imports and to expand Britain's energy mix to include new nuclear and renewable energy and carbon capture and storage. The alternative would be a gamble on world gas prices falling in the future.

Shale gas may prove a worthwhile resource for the UK, but it is in its infancy. With a fifth of our generating capacity set to close over the next decade as old power stations shut down, a balanced approach is our best policy for keeping the lights on.

Even if future wholesale gas prices are much lower than most analysts expect, our proposals to reform the electricity market and revolutionise the energy efficiency of our homes will deliver the best deal for Britain and for consumers while making sure we have the energy supplies we need.

Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 3 Mar 12

    ND comments:

    Diversity of supply - agreed; we need it, as long as each component supplies its share at an affordable price.

    One wonders how long we will have to wait for our new nuclear power stations.

    Shale gas is in its infancy, but about 15% of gas used in the USA is from shale, and projected to grow rapidly. This needs watching carefully. It could be an important part of our future energy supply.

    I am surprised that the Government has not yet abandoned plans for carbon capture and storage. Every study which has been done has shown the concept to be unworkable on the scale needed for power stations.

    Revolutionising the energy efficiency of our homes - yes, all homes should be well - insulated. Some bright ideas to help those with older properties would be useful, too.

    4 Mar 2012

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