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Energy from waste sector welcomes Energy Bill

The Energy Bill will improve investor confidence until 2020, say energy from waste trade bodies.

The bill, which has been the centre of a whirlwind of disagreement by opposing factions within the coalition government, was finally announced by energy secretary Ed Davey on Friday.

The government has told energy companies that they can add £7.6bn to household bills to help confidence in investment in clean energy infrastructure under the Levy Control Framework. The framework will spin off £110bn of investments, it is estimated.

Davey said: “This is a durable agreement across the Coalition against which companies can invest and support jobs and our economic recovery. The decisions reached are true to the Coalition Agreement, they mean we can… have essential electricity market reforms up and running by 2014 as planned.”

The food waste industry will be relieved that legislation is moving forward, said Charlotte Morton, Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), chief executive.

Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) also welcomed the bill: “The commitment of the necessary budget for the renewable power sector to meet its share of the 2020 target is very welcome news. This should help to draw a line under the recent politicking, which has been so damaging to investor confidence.”

The director-general of the CBI, John Cridland said: “This package will send a strong signal to investors that the Government is serious about providing firms with the certainty they need to invest in affordable secure low-carbon energy.”

But there is disappointment over a lack of a 2030 decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill, and some fears about the effect this will have on renewable investor confidence in the long term. Lord Debden, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change and former environment secretary under John Major’s government, said the lack of the target “could adversely impact on supply chain investment and development of projects to come on line after 2020”.

ADBA’s Morton was disappointed by the government’s decision to jettison the 2030 decarbonisation target, but said the solution was to ensure the early decarbonisation of the energy market via the delivery of the reform of the electricity market.

“In the absence of a 2030 target, DECC need to use the agreement on the levy control framework to give long term certainty to renewable energy investors on the future of incentives.

“It is only through clear long term policy that the AD industry and other renewables can deliver their potential, which includes £2-3bn a year of green gas.”

James Cameron, chairman for Climate Change Capital and member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group, said that Government had the power to bring about a clean energy revolution if it used tools from the Energy Bill wisely.

He added: “To achieve progress quickly we also need clarity on how much renewable power should be built and by when to ensure investment in the UK supply chain. We need contracts for new generation to be signed quickly.

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