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Energy Security

Volume 589: debated on Thursday 18 December 2014

The UK remains the most energy secure country in the European Union and is ranked fourth in the world by the US chamber of commerce. On electricity security of supply, we are successfully implementing short, medium and long-term policies to overcome the legacy of underinvestment that we inherited, so we will keep the lights on. From National Grid’s supplemental balancing reserve to the capacity market auctions this week through to the £45 billion investment in the UK’s electricity generation networks in 2010, this Government have delivered on energy security for the UK.

Meeting our security of supply challenge requires stable investment, and investors need confidence in the long-term direction of Government policy. After 2020, when the levy control framework expires, that confidence evaporates in this Government’s current road map, so will the Secretary of State give the industry a big pre-Christmas present by finally committing this Government to a 2030 decarbonisation plan to give the sector the certainty it needs?

I have done a lot better than that. Through UK leadership in the European Union, we now have European Union 2030 targets, which are among the most ambitious in the world. The UK led that and that gives confidence to the sector not just in the UK, but across the whole European Union.

The Secretary of State was right earlier when he said that to get energy security we need a proper rich energy mix, but is he as disappointed as I am that the most predictable of energy sources, tidal energy, has not progressed beyond the demonstration schemes and into commercial energy projects, including Siemens in my constituency? Will he meet me and a delegation from the Anglesey Energy Island to see how we can progress so that national needs can be met by local sources?

I will always be delighted to meet the hon. Gentleman. Although there have been some setbacks with Marine Current Turbines being put up for sale by Siemens, there are some positive signs—for example, MeyGen in the north of Scotland is the world’s first tidal array, and we are very proud of that. Moreover, I hope the hon. Gentleman will welcome the fact that we are intensifying our negotiations with Tidal Lagoon Power over Swansea bay.