Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: Energy secretary Ed Davey hails Energy Bill as ‘one-in-a-generation transformation’

11:29 30 November 2012

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 29, 2012. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 29, 2012. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Energy secretary Ed Davey hailed the Energy Bill as a “once-in-a-generation transformation” of the electricity market this week – promising to slash carbon emissions, create jobs and keep electricity flowing to our homes.

shares

But the announcement met with mixed views across the region, as business leaders welcomed the prospect of a jobs bonanza for Suffolk and Norfolk’s energy industries, while campaigners expressed concerns for how the poorest would cope if consumers had to foot the bill.

Mr Davey revealed that the bill would pave the way for ministers to treble the investment in renewable energy and low-carbon power to £7.6bn by 2020.

He told the House of Commons that it was designed to drive down bills by preventing the UK from being at the mercy of fluctuating global fossil fuel prices by increasing the amount of power generated through renewable and nuclear energy.

He said the support for low-carbon energy would add less than £100 a year to people’s fuel bills.

He said: “The Energy Bill will attract investment to bring about a once-in-a-generation transformation of our electricity market, moving from predominantly a fossil-fuel to a diverse low-carbon generation mix.

“This is the culmination of two years’ work in designing a new market-based approach that will deliver certainty for investors and fairness for consumers.

“The challenge is big. Over the next decade, the investment needed to upgrade our energy infrastructure is almost half of the infrastructure investment needed in the UK. This is far more than is taking place in transport, in telecoms, or in water, and dwarfs the investment that was needed for the Olympics or Crossrail. The Bill will support the construction of a diverse mix of renewables, new nuclear, gas and CCS, protecting our economy from energy shortfalls and significantly decarbonising our electricity supply by the 2030s as part of global efforts to tackle climate change.”

It is estimated that £110bn will be needed to revitalise the UK’s ageing electricity infrastructure, with low carbon powers such as wind farms being mooted as the best way to plug the gap.

To achieve this, the government plans to unroll long-term contracts for energy companies, which will ensure they are paid a higher price for the electricity they generate from low-carbon sources than those generated through fossil fuels.

Once in place, the government estimates that household energy bills should be between 5pc and 9pc lower than they would be otherwise between 2016 and 2030.

Business leader across Norfolk and Suffolk believe the bill will give the big energy companies confidence to invest in the region – with the hope of creating thousands of jobs for companies in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Chris Starkie, programme director at New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Renewable energy is the biggest opportunity that some of our businesses have for the future, but what has been holding them back is a lack of clarity about its role in the government’s plans.

“I am pleased the Energy Bill has been published. It may not have everything that everyone wants, but it will provide clarity for companies who want to bring forward investment projects.

“That investment could bring thousands of jobs to Norfolk and Suffolk and the supply chain, nuclear power and anaerobic digestion.”

But fears have been raised by campaigners that forcing the consumer to pay for the new low-carbon electricity market would punish the poorest who are already struggling to cope with high energy bills.

However, Simon Wright MP for Norwich South, said the bill would include measures to ensure consumers are on the lowest tariff.

He said: “I am very concerned about older people and their energy and I have raised it in the House of Commons before to make sure support is there so they can switch onto the cheapest energy tariff. By simplifying the billing structures, that will benefit elderly who are worrying about their incomes. But we need to address the problems of the older energy markets to make sure we are generating our own energy, which is good for the environment and that we can rely on.”

The Bill will now begin its passage through the Houses of Parliament.

shares

0 comments

Jean Sarah with her son, Charlie

A cancer patient faces a race against time to raise money for surgery unavailable on the NHS before the disease spreads from her lungs.

Missing teen Wafa Benaziza

Concern is growing for a missing teenage girl who was last seen leaving her home in Essex last week.

View over Sudbury showing the area that could be used for the bypass

A bypass is the “key to prosperity in Sudbury”, it has been claimed, but so far the route has not been included in an official blueprint mapping out the future of the area over the next 20 years.

Stock image: emergency services at the scene of a fire

Firefighters tackled a blaze at a residential caravan in west Suffolk last night.

Christine Taylor and her grandson William Taylor and her partner Philip Wall - all victims of a crash on the A14 at Trimley.

A car passenger has died after never recovering from injuries suffered in a crash which killed two other people – two and-a-half years ago.

Police officer. Library image.

Exclusive: Last year officers at Essex Police took more than 11,000 sick days for stress, anxiety or depression – more than double the figure five years ago.

Fire (stock photo)

Two vehicles and a section of fencing in a communal car park in north Essex were found burning in the early hours of this morning.

Man admits sexual assault

Police have expressed their relief that a woman who was sexually assaulted in her own home will not need to re-live her experiences during a trial, as her attacker admitted to the crime.

Police road closure.

A van driver has been rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in a life-threatening condition after a crash near Higham.

Traffic. Library image.

The A12 northbound has reopened at Witham after a six vehicle crash.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages