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Government electricity reforms fall short, say MPs

The government’s electricity market reform proposal has failed to strike the right balance of encouraging investment in new gas-fired power stations in the short term and energy decarbonisation by 2030, MPs said today.

In its report on the proposal the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee called on the government to do more to ensure the security of energy supply, particularly with regard to increasing gas storage capacity.

Currently the UK relies on storage equating to just 14 days’ worth of gas supply — which the committee called a “dangerously” low level compared with France’s 87, Germany’s 69 and Italy’s 59 days’ worth. The committee said many witnesses it had interviewed suggested doubling the storage supply.

“In an uncertain world the UK needs to think hard about its energy security,” said committee chairman Tim Yeo. “The UK will become more dependent on energy imports as North Sea oil and gas declines, but prudent planning can ensure this doesn’t reduce our energy security too drastically. To keep the lights on and our transport moving we need a diverse energy portfolio that does not rely too heavily on fossil fuels from unstable parts of the world or any one single technology at home.”

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