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Electricity Demand/Capacity

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010

Peak demand for electricity is expected to be broadly the same in 2025 as now, but we need to replace high-carbon sources of energy generation with low-carbon sources, including renewables and nuclear. To make this happen, we have reformed the planning system and are proposing reform of the electricity market, as set out in the energy market assessment published at the Budget.

Those may be the Secretary of State’s figures, but will he accept that just about every independent expert predicts a growth in demand of approximately 2 per cent. per annum? If one takes the growth in green energy in the past 13 years and projects it forward, it will not even keep up with the growth in demand. Coupled with that, I strongly suspect that his figures do not take into account the increased use of electric cars. Will he not, even at this late hour, admit that he has not planned for enough generating capacity in this country for the years to come?

No, I will not admit that. I do not know whether I am maligning the hon. Gentleman unfairly by saying that he is one of the wind power refuseniks on the Opposition Benches—

If the hon. Gentleman is not, that is very good. He should persuade the other people in his party because we need onshore and offshore wind and all those things to move forward. He is right that we need to up the pace—that is why we are reforming planning, for example. The worst thing that could happen for low-carbon transition in this country is a Government who came in and reversed all those planning reforms and slowed things down again. We need to speed up, and we will under this Government.