16 December 2010

UK: Reforms to make low carbon "dominant" force in energy mix

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Energy and climate change secretary predicts "new, reformed UK electricity market" will give UK advantage over international rivals

The UK government today unveiled its plans for energy market reforms, predicting that the new package of measures will lead to a huge increase in investment for renewable, nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

However, the proposals stop short of providing precise details on the future price of carbon emissions and the regulations governing fossil power plants, that will ultimately by required by investors if they are to determine the economic feasibility of low-carbon projects.

Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne said the reforms would strengthen the economic case for investment in low-carbon technologies, to ensure that they become the "dominant" form of energy generation by 2030. He also predicted that the changes would lead to lower energy bills in the long term, compared to the continuation of the current market framework.

"The UK was first to put binding carbon reduction targets into law," he said. "Now the coalition is taking the historic step of introducing, permanently, a level playing field for low-carbon technologies in the UK's electricity market... Low-carbon technologies must be given the chance to become the dominant component in our electricity mix."

The reforms propose the introduction of four new measures, all designed to strengthen the investment case for low-carbon technologies.

(BusinessGreen)

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