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GIB and Energy Bill in Queen’s Speech

A new Energy Bill and legislation to set up the Green Investment bank (GIB) will be on the Parliamentary programme for the coming year.  

The Queen’s Speech confirmed long-awaited electricity market reforms would be tackled in an Energy Bill - proposed reforms which have been closely watched by the waste industry.

A spokeswoman for waste giant Shanks said: “Shanks welcomes the intention to bring the Energy Bill before Parliament and hopes that full consideration is given to the potential of waste as a sustainable source of energy.

“If the Government is truly committed to transitioning the UK’s energy supply to low carbon sources, one of the first things it could do would be to reform the regulatory regime so a wider number of industries could make the most of this resource.”

Green groups called for the focus to be on “sun, sea and wind” and warned the country must be “less reliant on increasingly imported fossil fuels”.

Friends of the Earth executive director Andy Atkins said: “The Prime Minister must resist pressure from fringe elements within his party to lurch to the right on energy - 85% of the public back moves to invest in clean British energy from the sun, sea and wind.

“The Prime Minister must honour his pledge to lead ‘the greenest Government ever’ and seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make our power system cleaner, more affordable and less reliant on increasingly imported fossil fuels.”

The Queen said the Government would “propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean, and affordable electricity, and ensure prices are fair”.

She also confirmed plans to introduce legislation to enable the creation of the much-vaunted GIB.

The Edinburgh-based bank – which has already named the waste sector as a priority – will be established through the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.  

More reaction (updated as it comes in)

The Renewable Energy Association

Gaynor Hartnell, chief wxecutive of the REA, said: “We look forward to seeing the details of the Energy Bill.  This is of immense importance to project developers in renewables, as the measures it puts in place will eventually replace the Renewables Obligation. Many of the projects in development now are working to a timescale that takes them into the new regime, and they need to know the detail as soon as possible.

“The new arrangements aim to deliver a stable price for renewable electricity generators, irrespective of what happens to electricity prices. If all works as intended, it should make project development less risky and means that the public pays no more than it needs to for green power.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Chris Dow, CEO, Closed Loop Recycling said:

    “We are looking forward to the introduction of legislation which will see the Green Investment Bank help to shift the log jam in lending to green businesses including those in the recycling industry. There is much pent up demand for some exciting infrastructure projects which, coupled with other measures including a review of the PRN/PERN system, will grow the capacity of the industry, thus enabling us to meet the new 57% recycling targets and at the same time create thousands of new green jobs, to the benefit of the UK economy.”

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