United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK MPs caution against over-reliance on gas

UK: UK MPs have warned the government against making a "dash for gas" at the expense of renewable energy.

The warning was issued in a report by the House of Commons Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on the government’s energy policy.

The report drew attention to a submission by Friends of the Earth that said the relative cheapness of natural gas and the speed with which gas-fired capacity can be brought online could lead to a reliance on gas at the expense of renewable energies.

Tim Yeo MP, chairman of the committee said: "If these new policy statements do not put the cleanest forms of energy at the top of the agenda, they will leave us dangerously dependent on fossil fuels."

The UK Ministry for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has said that £200 billion of new investment in energy infrastructure is needed by 2020 to cope with rising demand and meet targets on renewable energy generation.

However, the commons committee has called for more clarity in coordinating this investment.

Evidence submitted to the report by trade association for wind wave and tidal energy RenewableUK calls for parity between zero carbon and renewable energy technologies.

Separately, the Carbon Trust said that UK offshore wind development by 2020 may fail to reach European Union renewable energy targets.

Carbon Trust director of innovations Benj Sykes said: "To ensure we achieve the scale of offshore wind needed we must focus on improving the economics of offshore wind, by reducing costs and increasing output."

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