‘UK needs to focus on cheaper bills rather than lower emissions’ says Lords peer

The UK needs a shift in energy policy to prioritise cheaper bills rather than reducing emissions. That’s according to House of Lords peer Matt Ridley, who has reportedly backed the findings […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The UK needs a shift in energy policy to prioritise cheaper bills rather than reducing emissions.

That’s according to House of Lords peer Matt Ridley, who has reportedly backed the findings of an Economic Affairs Committee (EAC) report from February and said he hopes the government will change its direction.

The Lords’ report criticised the costly Hinkley Point C deal, encouraged the government to have a backup plan for nuclear and called for a renewed focus on research and development for future energy systems.

It also said the government should implement auctions where all technologies, including fossil fuel power plants, could compete for guaranteed electricity prices. The auctions would cap carbon emissions.

Speaking to Journal Energy, Lord Ridley said: “As the House of Lords report observed, the system cost of keeping the grid going with a high level of unreliable/renewable energy is high.

“Indeed, some analysts have suggested that these costs are so high that even if wind turbines were free to install, the system costs would mean that their electricity would still be more expensive than electricity from gas turbines.”

The report was slammed as “backward looking” and “slanted” by green groups upon its release.