Britain Should Scrap Electricity Plans, Curb Utility Dominance, Panel Says

Posted by erauch, May 17, 2011

Britain should scrap proposed legislative changes to the electricity market and reduce the power of the six biggest energy companies in order to spur low- carbon investment, according to a panel of lawmakers.

The dominance of companies including Electricite de France SA and RWE AG (RWE) needs to be reduced to encourage the 110 billion pounds ($178 billion) in spending needed to replace aging power plants and cut carbon emissions, the Energy and Climate Change Committee said. If the government thinks subsidizing nuclear power is a way to achieve its goals, it should be upfront about it, even if the move is unpopular, it said.

Proposals are “skewed by the wish of the coalition to disguise support for nuclear,” Tim Yeo, chair of the committee and a Conservative member of parliament, said by phone. “If meeting targets involves giving nuclear some support, then it would be sensible for the government to just admit that.”

The Commons committee examines and reports on policy shifts that focus on the work of government departments. While its findings aren’t binding, they usually require a government response within 60 days. The planned revamp of energy markets, the most sweeping changes in two decades, will be included in an energy bill to be presented to parliament by July 20.


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