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Energy Review needs to be implemented fast

With cost pressures on manufacturers unlikely to diminish over the next two years, the pace needs to be quickened on implementing the UK energy review recommendations.

This is the view of the British Plastics Federation (BPF), who welcomed key parts of the review but said that action needs to come soon.

BPF director general Peter Davis said: “The review foresees a requirement of around 25GW of new generation over the next 20 years, equivalent to one third of our current capacity. We need to see an action plan and timetable.

“The Government has admitted that we risk over-relying on imports, with gas imports potentially rising from 10% to 90% by 2020. This simply isn’t sustainable and we commend the Government’s call for a strong international agenda to promote more open and competitive markets.”

In line with this, the BPF has written to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes encouraging her to consider investigating the Climate Change Levy (CCL) in the UK as part of her enquiry into the operation of the European energy market.

While it believes that the CCL does not fit into the Government’s call for a freer energy market, the federation has welcomed the Government’s call for greater diversity of supplies and the growth of more home-grown energy including nuclear and Energy-from-Waste (EfW).

Davis added: “The Government has rightly concluded that EfW must form part of the mix of distributed energy, and to help meet an increased renewables obligation.”

As an example, he points to the city of Amsterdam, which has used EfW to provide energy for its trams, metro system and street lighting. Davis also hailed policy areas where plastics have a critical role to play.

“Used plastics with a high calorific value are a ready-made fuel in mixed waste so we want to see more action for the UK to catch up with the rest of Europe.

“On this very issue, we want to see the Government’s long overdue policy on reforming the planning regime bear fruit, to speed up the development of modern nuclear capacity and new EfW plants.”

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