Electricity Market Reform
Chris Huhne rubbishes predictions of £500-a-year average rise by 2030. Campaigners say proposals will plunge more families into fuel poverty. The government will reignite the row over soaring energy bills on Tuesday when it unveils a long-awaited electricity market reform package that will boost nuclear power but hit householders with another major increase in costs. Ministers insist the planned shake-up will move the UK away from fossil fuels and the kind of market instability that led to the announcement last Friday of an increase of up to 18% in some British Gas bills.
Guardian 11th July 2011 more >>
Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, has tried to reassure consumers that the biggest reform of Britains electricity market for two decades will not cause household bills to climb even higher. Mr Huhne will publish a white paper on Tuesday designed to overhaul completely the UKs energy infrastructure with the twin goals of replacing lost generating capacity and cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The total cost of this wholesale renewal, the most ambitious change since the industry was privatised 20 years ago, will be 200bn by 2020, according to Ofgem, the industry regulator. Mr Huhnes reforms will be designed to give Britains utility companies the incentives they need to provide this level of investment.
FT 11th July 2011 more >>
Britains biggest energy companies will be handed a 7 billion windfall by Government plans to boost green power generation, analysts have said. Power companies who are already putting up household bills are set to benefit from measures to encourage the building of new nuclear power stations and windfarms, according to Credit Suisse. According to a Credit Suisse report, higher prices will bring in an extra 24 billion for power companies between 2013 and 2020. Their costs are only forecast to rise by 17 billion, giving a profit of 7 billion. According to the University of Cambridge Energy Policy Research Group, the Coalitions market reforms could increase household bills by 32 per cent by 2030 and send UK electricity prices towards being the highest in the European Union. Mr Huhne strongly rejected the Cambridge estimates.
Telegraph 11th July 2011 more >>
DOMESTIC energy bills could soar by over 30 per cent following dramatic energy market reforms set to be announced tomorrow, experts have warned. Britain would end up with the highest energy prices in Europe, according to the Consumers’ Association, as a result of subsidies to promote the building of new nuclear power plants and wind turbines for the renewables sector. But energy secretary Chris Huhne, who will launch a white paper tomorrow on changes to the energy sector, insisted the UK had the lowest prices in Europe and rejected suggestions of massive rises ahead. The Energy Market Reform (EMR), led by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, is described as the most significant change to the power market since privatisation in the 1990s.
Scotsman 11th July 2011 more >>
Its beyond madness to send the cost of electricity and gas soaring during tough times. British Gas is putting up the cost of heating and lighting the average home by up to 18 per cent, or about 200 a year. Indignation at its profiteering is understandable. But that can only be a part of the story: the combined profits of the big six energy supply companies amount to less than 1.5 per cent of your energy bill, according to the regulator, Ofgem. Gas prices have gone up this year mainly because of demand from post-Fukushima Japan and booming China. With energy now a big part of household bills, genuine fuel poverty threatens many Britons next winter. So what does the Government plan to do? This week it publishes a white paper on electricity market reform that will be predicated upon, indeed proud of, pushing up prices even faster. To meet its self-imposed green targets, the Governme nts policy is to tax carbon, fix high prices for renewable electricity and load extra costs on to peoples electricity bills but without showing them as separate items. This policy is beyond foolish. While you might just get away with driving up energy bills in a boom, to add green stealth taxes on top of supply-driven price increases at a time of economic misery is asking for political trouble.
Times 11th July 2011 more >>
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a Northumberland beauty spot from nuclear development have welcomed news that it is not on a list of potential power station sites. Fears were first raised in 1979 that a nuclear power station could be built at picturesque Druridge Bay, prompting massive protests from the public and a 40,000-name petition against the proposal.
Northumberland Gazettte 10th July 2011 more >>
France will on Monday begin a big push on renewable energy that could signal a weakening in the traditional hold of nuclear power over a country that has long led the field in atomic energy. Our objective is to rebalance the energy mix in favour of renewables, said Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, ecology minister, in an interview with the Financial Times as she prepared to launch a 10bn ($14.2bn) tender for five new offshore windpower farms. France remains attached to nuclear power, but we are also weighing up the markets of the future and their new technologies. Though nuclear power would remain the foundation of Frances energy production, we are investing in [nuclear] safety, not in growth objectives as we are doing in renewables, Ms Kosciusko-Morizet said.
FT 11th July 2011 more >>
Almost half of the wind farms planned for the UK countryside are rejected before they can get off the drawing board, new figures show. The failure of developers to win support for wind projects is blamed on a hardening of attitudes within local authorities towards them, and the increasing influence of “nimbies” and anti-wind campaigners. Figures obtained from the Department of Energy and Climate Change under freedom of information legislation reveal that in just five years the rejection rate for wind farm planning applications has risen from 29 per cent in 2005 to 48 per cent in 2010 in England and Wales. For other major developments, such as roads and supermarkets, 70 per cent are approved.
Independent 11th July 2011 more >>