UK government holds crisis talks on energy

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg will today hold a meeting with Chancellor George Osborne and Energy Secretary Ed Davey over Britain’s stalling power generation plans.

The government is not calling it a crisis meeting – but that is exactly what it is:  investment in the UK energy sector is in limbo because financiers want to see the small print of the government’s Electric Market Reform under its Energy Bill, details of which are due this month.

Nick Clegg and Ed Davey
The situation has gone from bad to worse in the past few days, as seven energy giants, including Alstom and Mitsubishi, have threatened to look again at their investment plans for the UK.

At the core of today’s talks will be the question of what the future energy mix for the UK should look like. Osborne favours a gas-heavy mix and is keen to unlock investment in shale gas, while Davey wants a greater push towards renewables.

Osborne’s push for shale gas – currently low key in Britain because of environmental concerns over the ‘fracking’ procedure to release the gas – is backed by several key industry bodies, including the Institute of Directors and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Tomorrow morning Davey will meet with journalists at the headquarters of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) to outline the path forward for the Energy Bill. PEi will be there so make sure you follow us on Twitter for updates.

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