Energy Networks tell MPs that a flexible energy mix and incentives for investment are essential to meet future energy demands

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 3:45PM

Energy Networks tell MPs that a flexible energy mix and incentives for investment are essential to meet future energy demands.   Giving evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee inquiry, “The UKs Energy Supply: security or independence?”, Energy Networks Association (ENA) told MPs that maintaining a diverse energy mix and ensuring the best environment for investment are key to both our energy future and meeting climate change targets.  

Speaking on behalf of ENA, Steven Edwards, Head of Regulation at Wales and West Utilities, said:  

“In a low-carbon future it is important to have a sustainable baseline to compensate for when the wind doesn’t blow. A balanced energy portfolio is a key part of this solution. Gas has a vital role to play both in meeting peaks in demand and as an affordable bridge to a secure and sustainable energy future. Biomethane integration and Carbon Capture and Storage technology are also essential will be an important part of the role the gas networks play in meeting climate change targets.  

“The supply of gas to domestic customers is vital to managing the cost to consumers. Full electrification would be very costly. Gas remains the reliable fuel of choice for much of the UK as well as key to addressing fuel poverty.  

Talking of the regulatory environment around the financeability of the £32bn of infrastructure needed for the networks, Steven said:  

“Investors are ultimately free to choose from global opportunities in the energy and other infrastructure sectors, many of which offer higher returns than recently allowed by GB’s regulatory authorities.”  

Steven Edwards also spoke alongside, Steve Johnson, Chief Executive of Electricity North West and Nick Winser, Executive Director UK for National Grid – both organisations are members of ENA.      

ENDS  

Notes to editor  

1. ENA represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.  

2. ENA commissioned Redpoint report to look at the role of gas in a low-carbon future – the first independent in-depth analysis carried out:  

Compared with scenarios that phase gas out of the energy mix, there could be savings of up to £700bn, meaning households could benefit from savings of £20,000 from their bills if a dual solution of gas and electricity is taken forward – that’s equivalent to £500 per household per year between 2010 and 2040.  

For further information please contact:  
Tim Field, Press and Public Affairs Executive  
Energy Networks Association  
E: [email protected]  
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157  
M: +44 (0)7725 372 758  
W: www.energynetworks.org