United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Enron evidence

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A parliamentary select committee is running its own inquiry into energy policy in Britain alongside the government's review (main story). The House of Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee will examine, among other issues, the consequences of national and international targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, security and diversity of supply, power imports and exports -- including the use of interconnectors -- regulation, decommissioning of oil and gas platforms and nuclear plant, energy efficiency and research and development.

In early December the committee heard evidence on the coal industry, in mid January it took evidence on gas, while renewables were due to be heard on January 28. Nuclear power is tabled for February 11. Enron Europe was among the organisations giving evidence at the session on gas. Enron, which operates the world's largest gas fired CCGT plant on Teesside and is one of the UK's most active power traders, understandably called for an immediate end to the moratorium on consents for construction of new power plant.

Inquiry chairman Ralph Hodge has pointed out that an increased role for renewables will bring about extra diversity in the fuel supply system, ensuring that Britain does not become over dependent on gas. Enron Europe, which as well as trading gas is busily developing wind farm operations in the British Isles -- both on land and offshore -- claims that wind, wave and solar power will easily enable the UK to meet its 2010 target of 10% of generation from renewable energy. Wind alone could meet 75% of the target, the company claims.

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