WWF was particularly critical of the Government’s publication of widely different power sector scenarios for 2030, highlighting that one of them was completely inconsistent with the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change and envisaged very little investment in low-carbon technologies after 2020.
Nick Molho, head of climate and energy policy at WWF-UK, said: “The lack of a clear picture beyond 2020 is unsettling for companies wishing to invest in new low-carbon or supply chain projects, which take several years to build. If the Government wants to see investment flowing in the UK’s clean energy infrastructure, it must set a direction of travel and stick to it.
“The publication of scenarios which are not compatible with the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change shows all too clearly that not all parts of Government are signed up to the low-carbon agenda. Given that Government has a key role to play in creating a market for low-carbon technologies, this is a real problem.”
Commenting on the publication of the reliability standard the Government wants to use to ensure there are enough power stations for the lights to stay on, WWF urged Ministers to look beyond just building new gas plants to guarantee the UK’s security of supply. This would avoid consumers paying for an excessive number of new gas plants that would have to be running increasingly infrequently if the UK is to stick to its carbon budgets.
Nick Molho said: “Instead of locking the country into an excessive dependence on new gas plants, the Government should focus on improving the way the UK uses, stores and imports energy from its European neighbours at times when supply is tight.”