Charles Hendry announced the framework for energy policy in Parliament yesterday, outlining roles for nuclear, oil and gas, renewables like wind and solar, biomass, and ‘clean’ coal in tandem with carbon capture and storage. Low carbon electricity was at the heart of the National Policy Statements.
If approved by Parliament, they will lay out guidance on infrastructure for the energy industry, such as setting out how planning permission works for power stations.
The UK will lose a quarter of its generating capacity in the next decade as old or more polluting plants close.
The Energy Minister said: “We urgently need new electricity-generating infrastructure to replace our ageing power stations. If we are to meet our ambitious carbon targets, we must electrify much of our industry, heating and transport sectors. That could mean doubling our electricity generation, with about 60 GW of new capacity coming on line by 2025.”
When opposition MP John Robertson raised concern about why wave and tidal weren’t included in NPS, Mr Hendry replied: “We attach enormous potential to wave and tidal, but the NPS is concerned with projects over 50MW. Wave and tidal schemes are currently at a much smaller scale and can be included under existing planning permission. The NPS can be adapted in due course.”
He fielded questions about whether they’d considered the NPS could spark a ‘dash for gas’, replying that the national policy statements took these into account, adding that he will explain more fully to the Energy and Climate Change Committee.