LibLink: Chris Huhne – The biggest energy market shake-up in 25 years

Over at the Telegraph, Lib Dem secretary of state for energy and climate change Chris Huhne argues that the UK needs to unlock private investment in its energy market on an unprecedented scale, and ensure the low-carbon revolution at the lowest cost to consumers. Here’s an excerpt:

… on Thursday the Coalition begins a consultation on a reform that would reshape this market more fundamentally than at any time since the 1980s, when the Lawson reforms were the pioneer of Europe’s deregulation. Since then, we have acquired an overlay of instruments – notably the renewables obligation – that has provided a piecemeal response to the need for more secure, low-carbon electricity. By forging a comprehensive response, we can unlock investment in a broader range of low-carbon electricity generation. By providing greater certainty, we can encourage new market entrants and investors, reduce the cost of capital, and provide low-carbon electricity at lower cost than under present policies. Our mix of four inter-locking policies should give greater assurance of decarbonisation and lower bills. … These reforms can unlock private investment on an unprecedented scale, and ensure the low-carbon revolution at the lowest cost to consumers. It is time to get off the fossil fuel hook and on to clean, green electricity.

You can read Chris’s article in full here.

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9 Comments

  • One of the things that most discomforts me about this Coalition is it’s shameful hyperbole. This is yet another example from Chris Huhne.

    After reading his full article, I’m still left wondering “what is it you’re actually proposing to do then?”

    To my eyes – it seems to be nothing more than producing financial incentives for more private sector companies to enter the market.

    Nothing wrong with that per se – but the screaming headlines?

  • Scott Walker 16th Dec '10 - 7:31pm

    Some great points and great plans. I do wonder if the decision on no subsidies for nuclear is driven by his personal anti-nuclear opinions. I firmly believe (and speaking as someone who works in the energy industry) that nuclear must be part of the energy mix to ensure the continuity of supply. Perhaps some enticement would be useful in persuading companies to begin building new nuclear stations sooner rather than later. But I aplaud that the decisions have been made so quickly. These are decisions that Labour delayed making for many years. Now the market can adjust and get on with decarbonisation quickly.

  • Andrew Duffield 16th Dec '10 - 7:51pm

    @Scott Walker
    Unfortunately there is a massive subsidy for nuclear in the form of state insurance underwriting. If nuclear power had to fund its own public liability insurance there would be a more level economic playing field – and very likely no nuclear power.

  • Patrick Smith 16th Dec '10 - 8:11pm

    The Chris Huhne cleaner and greener electricity consultation, to be on stream over the next winters, are crucial to respond to the growing rise to over 50% of the current demand.

    It is time `to get off the fossil fuel hook’ in the UK but the heavy carbon coal is conversely increasing in China,Indonesia and in Australia where coal is mined and exported in response to the satiated demand led global market.

    There must be a new concerted international agreement to prevent the current market increase of dirty carbon coal electricity from those Countries set on sale and trade in personal health pollution and hell-bent on increasing world population exposure to `Global Warming’.

  • The concern I have is that having difficulty paying for heating bills now are people going to be able to heat their homes with the increases that are going to happen when incomes are set to fall especially for those on welfare?

  • Tony Greaves 17th Dec '10 - 5:37pm

    This is one of the best documents that has come out of the coalition government. It’s got a clear understanding of what is required and it sets out the steps that are needed to achieve it.

    How different from some of the “heroic” and dangerous stuff that has come from some of the Tory Ministers such as Gove and Lansley and the cavalier behaviour of Pickles.

    Tony Greaves

  • People at the petrol pumps aren’t interested in Huhne’s weasle word apologia for his volte face on Lib Dem nuclear policy. With Petrol prices soaring and domestic heating oil being considered for rationing, people want to know when Huhne is going to insist that the Tories stick to their promise of introducing a fuel price stabiliser, which they feted before the general election. The stabiliser ensures that when the oil price is high the fuel duty is lowered and vice versa, and would therefore be very welcome to millions during this period of appalling weather and hiking oil and petrol prices. So where is it? Where’s our stabiliser? Or is it just another another broken promise from this shameless coalition?

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