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Energy Security

Volume 571: debated on Thursday 28 November 2013

We published the annual “Statutory Security of Supply” report last month. National Grid is preparing stronger balancing measures for the short term. We plan to run a capacity market auction next year for the medium term. Beyond that, we are incentivising new infrastructure, including new nuclear, through the Energy Bill.

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on agreeing terms for the first new nuclear power station since 1995, which is in marked contrast to the previous Government’s failure to replace ageing power stations. Will he tell the House what other steps the Government are taking to find additional sites further to secure and improve UK energy security?

It is very telling that in the year that Hinkley Point will come on stream—2023—eight of the nine existing plants will be off the system, unless their lives are extended, which shows the legacy of under-investment that we have to face. There are now proposals for 12 reactors in total, spread over five different sites.

A quarter of our power supply will go off line in the next decade, so why is investment in new, clean energy infrastructure on course for a new low?

Since this Government came to office, five new gas plants have come on to the system and another is being built at Manchester, while two large wind farms opened this year and four more are under construction, and we have agreed terms, as we have heard, for the first new nuclear station in a generation. All that investment would be put at risk by the threat of price controls from a future socialist Government.