Lords: Security of supply trumps decarbonisation

Rich Croft/Creative Commons
Rich Croft/Creative Commons

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has urged energy policymakers to focus on security of supply over decarbonisation.

“The overarching aim of energy policy must be to keep the lights on. Low carbon but chronically unreliable electricity is not acceptable. Similarly very cheap prices at the expense of frequent shortages would be unacceptable,” the committee suggests, via a new report.

“Security of supply should be the first and most important consideration in energy policy. Decarbonisation and affordability must be taken into account, but should not be prioritised ahead of security where there is any conflict. Successive governments are perhaps guilty of overlooking security at times: for example, the disincentives for private investment in electricity generation created by the growth of intermittent renewables,” say the lords. “Moreover, affordability should not be neglected in the pursuit of decarbonisation.”

The report makes a number of recommendations for policymakers to consider around a different kind of power market auction, a fluid approach to carbon targets and suggests they think about what might happen if Hinkley C is late, or fails to arrive.

See the report here.

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  1. You have to wonder about the accuracy of this Lords’ committee’s report upon energy (possibly more accurately, electricity) policy.

    Its conclusions, indeed the entire report, seems willfully to ignore the absolutely crucial fact that UK electricity consumption is already almost 30% lower than the Government was projecting , back in 2005, that it would have reached by now.

    For the record, final consumption of energy fell from 159,676 ktoe in 2005 to 137,430 ktoe in 2015, a drop of 16.2%.


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