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Electricity Market Reform

Volume 518: debated on Thursday 11 November 2010

The Secretary of State announced his plan for a consultation on electricity market reform in the annual energy statement in July. In accordance with the DECC business plan, the consultation will be launched in December.

What reassurance can the Minister give the House that that consultation will end up not like the endless consultations of the previous Government, but with a clarity of purpose on our energy policy?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We must put a stop to Green Papers, reviews and consultations. We must draw a line in the sand and say, “This is the time to make decisions, this is the structure and this is basis for getting on with it.” We simply must get on with the investment.

Will the Minister consult on the question of capacity payments for energy plant investment and on low and high-carbon markets? Alternatively, does he consider, as is suggested in the coalition document, that simply having a floor price for carbon will be enough to sort the market out for the future?

The hon. Gentleman knows a huge amount about these issues. We are consulting on a floor price for carbon, which we believe is essential, and also on other mechanisms that might be necessary to secure investment in low-carbon technologies. We will consult on capacity payments in terms of back-up generation capacity and on other ways of managing demand, which we think is a more efficient way to deal with that problem.