The Secretary of State has replied to the Times leading article on energy from 13 May 2014.
Contrary to your leading article (‘Wanted: an Energy Policy’), this government is tackling the legacy of decades of under-investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure. By providing certainty, an attractive framework for investors and doing what’s needed to manage supplies over the next few years, we’ll keep the lights on as energy supply margins tighten while ensuring we won’t find ourselves in this situation again.
We’ve attracted £45 billion of investment since 2010, alongside introducing the most sweeping reforms of the energy sector in decades. We have announced plans for the first new nuclear power station in a generation, doubled the amount of electricity we get from renewables, we have Europe’s leading CCS projects, we are fast-tracking plans to maximise North Sea oil and gas, and we’re supporting the domestic shale gas sector. This year, we’ll hold the first ever Capacity Auction, which will incentivise investment in new gas-fired power stations.
On the demand side, our energy efficiency strategy is seeing world firsts, and by including demand-side auction in capacity market design, we are placing real value on reducing electricity demand. Our smart meter roll-out programme is both ambitious and on track.
The result is that the UK is rated the fourth most energy secure nation on earth by the US Chamber of Commerce, while Ernst and Young have assessed us as one of the top five most attractive locations for investment in renewables.
At the same time, we are forcing energy suppliers to be more honest and fair with their customers, we’ve trebled the number of energy suppliers, promoted switching and backed community energy all to drive challenger competition in our markets.
We have set a clear path for investment and generation that will keep the lights on, reduce reliance on imports and increase supplies of secure, clean, home-grown energy – a very substantial energy policy indeed.
Rt Hon Edward Davey MP Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change