Tag: Chris Huhne

Kiran Stacey

As reported in the FT on Monday, green campaigners in the UK have stepped up their attack on the carbon floor price, calling it a “windfall” for the nuclear industry.

They first made this warning in the immediate aftermath of the electricity market reform announcement, but now Greenpeace and WWF have put some numbers to their arguments.

They say the move could benefit the nuclear industry by up to £3.4bn, which would effectively be a subsidy, and so breach the coalition agreement.

My former colleague Fiona Harvey revealed last October that Chris Huhne’s plan for a green investment bank was being thwarted by Treasury officials, who wanted it to be more like a fund. Then in December Mr Huhne let the cat out of the bag in public when he admitted that the Treasury had won the battle and the new entity probably wouldn’t have the powers to issue bonds*.

Without leverage, the fund will only have £1bn to spend (plus £1bn from asset sales) rather than the £4-6bn demanded by the renewables industry.

Kiran Stacey

In this first weekly readers’ Q&A session of 2011, Chris Huhne, the UK energy secretary, answers your electricity-market related questions.

In the second of two posts, he discusses the cost of emissions targets, the chances of another oil shock and what should happen to the “big six” power companies.

Earlier, he addressed the limits of feed-in tariffs, what will happen to the renewables obligation and how to keep green jobs in the UK.

Next in the hotseat is Jack Gerard, the head of the American Petroleum Institute, who will be answering your questions next Friday, January 14th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, January 9th – to energysource@ft.com.

But for now, over to Chris:

Kiran Stacey

In this first weekly readers’ Q&A session of 2011, Chris Huhne, the UK energy secretary, answers your electricity-market related questions.

In the first of two posts, he addresses the limits of feed-in tariffs, what will happen to the renewables obligation and how to keep green jobs in the UK.

In the second post, published above, he discusses ths cost of emissions targets, the chances of another oil shock and what should happen to the “big six” power companies.

Next in the hotseat is Jack Gerard, the head of the American Petroleum Institute, who will be answering your questions next Friday, January 14th. Send in your questions for consideration by the end of Sunday, January 9th – to energysource@ft.com.

But for now, over to Chris:

Kiran Stacey

The UK energy secretary has promised to ensure that industrial-scale solar farms do not swallow up too much of the money dedicated to incentivising small-scale renewables projects.

Answering Energy Source readers’ questions, Chris Huhne said that access to feed-in tariffs could be limited to make sure smaller-scale projects get a fair share.

Kiran Stacey

Many apologies to all of those who sent in questions, but we are having to delay Chris Huhne’s Q&A session until the new year, as the energy secretary has not yet been able to answer all your questions.

His answers will appear on this site in early January – date to be confirmed in the new year.

Apologies again, and thanks for your patience.

Kiran Stacey

Two days ago, before Chris Huhne announced his package of measures to shake up the UK electricty market, a group of energy industry insiders and experts told Energy Source what they wanted to see from the reforms. Now that we know the details, and people have had time to figure out what they mean, the question remains, did they get what they wanted?

Chris Huhne this morning criticised a Telegraph headline – suggesting bills would rise by £500 because of his energy reforms – as “ludicrous” and “absolutely bonkers”.

The splash quoted uSwitch predicting that bills would rise per household by £500 from their current average energy bill of £1,157. (Although it’s not clear by when). Huhne said the rise would instead by from £500 per household to £660 by 2030.

Fiona Harvey

The Cancun climate change conference scored “eight out of 10″ as far as Chris Huhne, the UK’s energy and climate change secretary, was concerned. He told MPs on Wednesday afternoon that the conference marked “real progress”, and added that although there was hard work still to be done – he singled out agreeing on a legal form for any future climate deal as the toughest nut to crack – the willingness to move forward shown at Cancun was a good omen for the negotiations to come.

Greg Barker, a ministerial colleague of Huhne’s (though from the Conservative side of the coalition government, while Huhne is a Liberal Democrat), chided the secretary of state for being “unduly modest” in his account of the talks. The UK, along with the environment minister of Brazil, Izabella Teixera, chaired a working group that sought to agree a compromise on the future of the Kyoto protocol, a key sticking point in the talks.

Fiona Harvey

As the UK government prepares to announce its proposed “radical” reforms to the energy market, it is worth recapping on some advice meted out by the Committee on Climate Change a few days ago.

The Committee on Climate Change has calculated that, over the period from 2023 to 2027, the UK must reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to about 390m tonnes a year, compared to annual emissions of about 570m tonnes at present.

In order to achieve this the UK will need to generate low-carbon energy – from renewables, nuclear reactors and coal and gas-fired power stations equipped with carbon capture and storage technology – equivalent to the output of about 25 large-scale fossil fuel power stations.

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