The Electricity Market Reform represents a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to set our energy system on the path towards a low-carbon future. Friends of the Earth Scotland agrees broadly with the Government’s stated aims for the reforms: delivering a low-carbon electricity system that provides energy security and doing so in a way that is affordable to bill-payers, especially those on lower incomes. However, we are extremely concerned that the proposals set out in DECC’s EMR Consultation Document (and also in HM Treasury’s consultation on the ‘Carbon Price Support’):
do not set out a clear target for the decarbonisation of the electricity sector, and will not decarbonise the electricity system as far or as fast as we need;
are geared towards building more electricity generating plant, rather than on cutting the need for them through energy efficiency, smart grids, storage and connections with other European countries;
will promote investment in new nuclear and gas power stations, at the expense of renewable energy – and even deliver windfall gains for existing nuclear power companies;
will therefore jeopardize Scotland's ability to remain at the forefront of renewables development;
do little to transform the illiquid power market or challenge the dominance of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies.