Britain moves to promote low carbon power
LONDON - Britain is working on a new legislation that will reform the electricity market in the country to incentivize renewable energy, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage and attract around 110 billion pounds investments electricity generation and transmission.
The long-awaited Electricity Market Reform (EMR) bill is intended to deliver the UK's climate change goals, at least cost, while ensuring a diverse mix of generating capacity, Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, told reporters Tuesday.
"We're trying to create a system where low-carbon power can compete in the market," Davey said.
Over the next decade around one-fifth of existing power-generating capacity will come off-line, raising fears for blackouts across the country, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change said.
The legislation is designed to encourage a balanced portfolio of renewables, new nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS), and to ensure that these technologies can compete fairly in the marketplace.
The key change in the proposed reforms coming after two decades is the adoption of long-term contracts that pay a steady rate of return for energy over the lifetime of new low-carbon generators, to overcome the high capital cost of building nuclear power plants or offshore wind.
The 'contracts for difference' will see the government sets minimum strike prices which will be paid for each low-carbon generating technology.
However, if wholesale electricity prices rise above that strike price, generators will have to pay the difference back to the government, which will pass it on to consumers.
These strike prices will be based upon advice and economic analysis carried out by National Grid, the UK's grid operator, and will be published in 2013.
They will come into force for projects from 2014, although the existing support mechanism for renewables the Renewables Obligation, whereby utilities have to source an annually-increasing proportion of their electricity from renewable sources or face a fine will remain in place until 2017.
The bill will also introduce a capacity market, ensuring that there is sufficient base load capacity available to ensure continuity of supply.
Director of energy markets and networks at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Jonathan Brearley admits more thinking needs to be done "before its design is finalised."
Projected by DECC modelling to reduce consumers' bills by 4% compared with business-as-usual, the proposed legislation is intended to spur some 110 billion pounds investment in electricity generation and transmission, addressing recent under-investment caused in large part by numerous changes by governments to the existing support mechanisms.
"We need to secure investment at twice the rate in this decade that we managed in the last decade," Energy Minister Charles Hendry told media.
Davey denied accusations from green groups that the legislation was tilted in favour of nuclear energy generation.
The Scottish Government is also opposed to new nuclear power and can effectively block any UK plan for new plants north of the border.
Stressing concerns, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said Scotland must be a partner in decision making, not a consultee.
More Reno NewsRSS
CARSON CITY - In a party line vote following an emotional floor debate, the Nevada Senate today passed a measure that would expand background check requirements to private party firearm sales. Senators on both sides of the issue recounted stories of family members killed by a gun as they argued the merits of closing the background check loophole. A cadre of survivors and family members of ...
CARSON CITY -- A bill requiring background checks for private sale gun purchases won approval Wednesday in the Senate on an 11-10 party-line vote. It now goes to the Assembly where Democrats have a 27-15 majority. The vote to pass Senate Bill 221 did not come before Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, attempted to amend the measure to eliminate the requirement that private gun ...
RENO -- Federal prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the illegal campaign contribution trial of former power broker Harvey Whittemore. Defense lawyers were to begin presenting witnesses. The trial, midway through its second week, is taking place before Senior U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks. Whittemore, 59, who once wielded much influence in Nevada politics as a legislative lobbyist, is ...
By Sue Zeidler LOS ANGELES | Wed May 22, 2013 3:55pm EDT LOS ANGELES May 22 (Reuters) - Caesars Entertainment Group said it plans to go live this summer with an online poker site in Nevada, the only U.S. state so far to offer legal Internet gambling, and will promote the nascent service to thousands of poker players at its World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament in Las Vegas starting ...
CARSON CITY -- A panel of lawmakers decided Wednesday not to fund construction of a new $700,000 execution chamber at Ely State Prison. The decision was made by a joint Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittee when it voted to approve a $104 million capital improvement program for the upcoming two-year budget that begins July 1. The vote was unanimous and there was no comment from ...
News from around our Network
Showing 1 thru 3 out of 10More from our network
Showing 4 thru 6 out of 10More from our network
Showing 7 thru 9 out of 10More from our network