The Government today published a new Electricity White Paper and a Roadmap for Renewables to 2020.
The Electricity Market Reform White Paper sets out measures to attract investment, reduce the impact on consumer bills, and create a mix of electricity sources including gas, new nuclear, renewable energy and carbon capture and storage.
The Renewables Roadmap published alongside this outlines a plan of action to accelerate renewable energy deployment to meet the target of 15% of all energy by 2020.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne said:
“We have a Herculean task ahead of us. The scale of investment needed in our electricity system in order to keep the lights on is more than twice the rate of the last decade. The fact is that the current electricity market is not able to meet that challenge. Without action, there is a risk of uncomfortably low capacity margins from around the end of the decade and a far higher chance of costly blackouts.
“This package will keep the lights on and bills down. It will insure us against shocks from volatile parts of the world like Libya, and end the dithering about our need for new plant.
“We have consulted widely and we believe our reforms represent the best deal for Britain. They will get us off the hook of relying so heavily on imported fossil fuels by creating a greener, cleaner and potentially cheaper mix of electricity sources right here in the UK.
“A new generation of power sources including renewables, new nuclear, and carbon capture and storage, along with new gas plants to provide flexibility and back-up capacity, will secure our electricity supply as well as bring new jobs and new expertise to the UK economy.”
The reform includes putting in place a price on carbon, an emissions performance standard (EPS) of 450g CO2 / kWh and a ‘contract for difference’ feed in tariff for all forms of low carbon electricity generation.
The Renewables Roadmap sets out ambitions for a four fold increase in renewable energy consumption by the end of 2020. According to Chris Huhne this is why the Government is announcing up to £30m to support innovation in the production of components over the next four years.
Huhne has also asked a new task force to reduce the costs of offshore wind to £100/MWh by 2020. He believes this would allow its ambition of 18GW offshore wind energy capacity by 2020 to be met.
The full documents can be viewed on the Department for Energy and Climate Change website.