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UK takes steps to prevent winter energy crisis

The review will include a commitment to increase supplies from renewable energy sources, such as wind farms, Mr Darling said. But he warned: “The problem with renewables, on the present technology, is that it’s never going to be enough to supply us with energy we need.”

The UK government is proposing reforms to the planning system that could pave the way for the construction of up to 10 new gas storage facilities.

The changes to be put forward this week aim to make energy supplies more secure.

Alistair Darling, the trade and industry secretary, told the FT he would set out to MPs “measures that will enable us to get through the winter. But it’s going to be tight”.

The action is thought necessary to avert a crisis shortage of gas supplies this winter that could drive up prices and force heavy energy users to cut production for the second year in a row. The measures will include changes to the planning guidelines to try to stop local objections blocking multi-billion pound plans for new gas storage infrastructure.

“I want to do more to make clear to planning authorities there is a need here and it’s an urgent need,” Mr Darling said. “Security of supply is absolutely fundamental.”

The government will also try to address industry concerns about alleged anti-competitive practices in other European energy markets, which may have contributed to the shortage of supplies into the UK last winter.

“We need to work with the European Commission to up its effort to make... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The UK government is proposing reforms to the planning system that could pave the way for the construction of up to 10 new gas storage facilities.

The changes to be put forward this week aim to make energy supplies more secure.

Alistair Darling, the trade and industry secretary, told the FT he would set out to MPs “measures that will enable us to get through the winter. But it’s going to be tight”.

The action is thought necessary to avert a crisis shortage of gas supplies this winter that could drive up prices and force heavy energy users to cut production for the second year in a row. The measures will include changes to the planning guidelines to try to stop local objections blocking multi-billion pound plans for new gas storage infrastructure.

“I want to do more to make clear to planning authorities there is a need here and it’s an urgent need,” Mr Darling said. “Security of supply is absolutely fundamental.”

The government will also try to address industry concerns about alleged anti-competitive practices in other European energy markets, which may have contributed to the shortage of supplies into the UK last winter.

“We need to work with the European Commission to up its effort to make sure we have a far more reliable and transparent system for the transfer of gas into this country,” Mr Darling said.

In his first extensive interview in his new job, the trade and industry secretary signalled a clear break from the government’s energy policy set out in its 2003 white paper. The energy review being published this summer will axe the 2003 approach of relying on increased renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet the UK’s targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The review will include a commitment to increase supplies from renewable energy sources, such as wind farms, Mr Darling said. But he warned: “The problem with renewables, on the present technology, is that it’s never going to be enough to supply us with energy we need.”

Mr Darling also signalled support for the decision taken in principle by Tony Blair, prime minister, to replace Britain’s ageing nuclear reactors. “Yes, we will do everything we can on renewables. But it’s not the whole answer. We’ve got to look at whether or not nuclear can provide part of that answer.”


Source: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/f1...

MAY 14 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2633-uk-takes-steps-to-prevent-winter-energy-crisis
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