Businesses are calling for clear leadership and stable energy policies to ensure future capacity in the country.
In an open letter to the government released by business lobby group CBI, they ask the Tory administration to deliver clear leadership to guarantee new capacity is affordable for firms and consumers.
The letter signed by 18 companies including ScottishPower, Veolia and Infinis stated: “For business and household billpayers, we need to make this transition while keeping costs affordable and our energy supply secure. UK industrial firms already pay higher electricity costs than EU competitors and spare capacity on our grid is getting squeezed as we phase out older power stations.”
They also ask for a clear long term framework to unlock investment in projects including onshore and offshore wind and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The letter also highlights low carbon technologies such as energy storage, demand management and smart grids to “ensure the shift to more intermittent renewable energy doesn’t affect security”.
It also suggests support for the development of new nuclear and gas capacity to help “underpin our power grid”.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd insisted the government’s decisions are to “build a system of energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century and to create the right environment for business to invest in clean, affordable and secure energy”.
She added: “We don’t apologise for doing this at the same time as working to keep bills as low as possible and making sure that the people that foot the bill, the hardworking families and businesses of Britain, get a good deal.
“We know that old and dirty coal and some ageing nuclear power plants will be closing over the next few years and that’s precisely why we’ve put in place a long term plan to ensure we have secure, affordable and clean energy supplies that can be relied on now and in the future. We are clear that a range of energy sources such as nuclear, offshore wind and shale gas all have roles to play in the low carbon energy mix, powering our country and safeguarding our future economic security.”
The UK could face a “power supply crisis” by 2025, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).