Business leaders attacked the Government’s energy policy as “disjointed”, targeted too much at wind power and under-investing in nuclear and clean coal.
The CBI called for a “more balanced” energy mix, which included other renewables to help “bolster” energy security and reduce carbon emissions. Ministers were urged to reduce the percentage of wind power expected by 2020 to encourage investment in other low-carbon energy sources, as well as speed up the planning process.
John Cridland, deputy director-general of the CBI, said: “Large chunks of our energy infrastructure urgently need replacing and we have tough climate change targets to meet. However, the Government’s disjointed approach is deterring the private sector investment needed to get our energy system up to scratch, bolster security and cut emissions.
“While we have generous subsidies for wind power, we urgently need the national planning statements needed to build new nuclear plants. If we carry on like this, we will end up putting too many of our energy eggs in one basket.
“But by moving Government policy in a different direction, we can achieve a good balance of wind, nuclear, gas and clean coal.
“With firms putting the finishing touches to their future investment plans, we need to act now if we are to achieve an energy system that is low-carbon, secure and sustainable.” EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz backed a call from the CBI for a joint Government-industry taskforce into low-carbon energy generation.
He said: “We strongly endorse the conclusion that a diverse low carbon generation mix, with contributions from nuclear, renewables and fossil fuel with CCS is essential to our future.”