Energy Secretary Ed Davey will set out fresh proposals to slash demand for electricity as he publishes a blueprint for energy today. The long-delayed Energy Bill authorises ministers to treble investment in “green” power generation to £7.6 billion, up from £2.35 billion this year.
An estimated £110 billion is needed in the next decade to renew the UK’s ageing electricity infrastructure, with much set to go into low-carbon power sources such as wind farms. Critics say the changes will be paid for by sharp rises in bills but Mr Davey insists state support for low-carbon electricity will cost the average household less than £100 a year. And he said that he was “determined” to more than compensate for that by expanding efforts to encourage energy efficiency measures and lower energy demand.
A 10% reduction would save £4 billion in 2030, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) calculates, and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to those of a large city in a year. Among ideas included in the two-month consultation are financial incentives for firms and individuals that install more efficient equipment.
The Government believes the spending level for low-carbon power subsidies will allow the UK to meet goals to supply 30% of electricity from renewables by 2020 and also fund other low-carbon technology including nuclear and fossil fuel power plants where emissions are captured and stored.