Michael Fallon defends Government's EMR

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has insisted the Coalition is providing consumers with all the information they need about the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) and is on track to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has insisted the Coalition is providing consumers with all the information they need about the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) and is on track to attract £110 billion of new investment by 2020.

Speaking at the 15th Renewable Energy Finance Forum event in London yesterday, Mr Fallon said the UK’s energy industry is capable of attracting enough cash with the Energy Bill, due in its full form later this year. He said it will set a “long term, transparent” framework.

The comments are in contrast to a recent report which claimed the UK is not doing enough to win renewable investors.

When ELN quizzed the Energy Minister about whether the Government is doing enough to help businesses and energy consultants learn about the impacts of EMR – after it was revealed there is still confusion around that piece of legislation – he said: “Of course it might have been true 12 months ago that people might have been more in the dark about EMR.”

Mr Fallon added: “I don’t think that’s a fair criticism. We are publishing detail week by week, giving more certainty and clarity as to how this new market is actually going to operate. I think the early publication of the draft strike prices really did help to assist the industry in seeing how it was going to work.”

But some businesses say the slow pace of policy is holding back investment.

Eddie O’Connor, CEO and Founder of Mainstream Renewable Power urged the Government to implement the Contracts for Difference “as soon as possible”.

He added: “Pay us enough to build the offshore because if you don’t, it won’t get built and then you’ll be reliant on gas and nobody knows what the price of gas is going to be next year, you won’t be able to close the power stations, there’ll be chaos.”

The European Commission is more supportive of the UK Government’s plans.

Tom Howes, Deputy Head of Unit for Renewable Energy and CCS policy unit said: “The UK is being very clear, very transparent in what it’s trying to do in terms of making sure the electricity sector can make the transformation to a low carbon economy… Investment in this sector needs a very stable policy environment and the UK is trying to provide that now with the EMR.”

What are your thoughts on the Government’s EMR plans? Have you got a question or would like to hear more on it ahead of it becoming law this winter?

If so, why not come along to the Energy Live 2013 conference held on November 7th this year, where Energy Secretary Ed Davey and an expert on the EMR from the UK’s National Grid are among the speakers.