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Gas and nuclear plants capable of powering every UK household on hold because of government policy dithering, industry claims.

Gas and nuclear power plant projects with sufficient capacity to supply electricity to every UK household are on hold because of government policy dithering, the energy industry claims on Monday.

A report by EY, the financial services firm, commissioned by industry body EnergyUK, says that there is “a pipeline of projects ready to build enough additional conventional power stations to replace ageing power stations and to power 25m to 30m homes (27GW) over the next decade”.

But it warns: “Many projects are awaiting government policy decisions before committing to construction.”

There were 26.4m households in the UK in 2012, according to ONS.

EY’s report says that some 23GW of new gas plant has received planning permission but just 4pc is being built, with the rest suspended or on hold “with owners waiting to see if the economic and policy environment become more favourable”.

Increasing volumes of subsidised, intermittent wind farms make the economics of gas plant tricky, while the influx of cheap coal from America has made the situation worse.

Ministers plan a system of subsidies to encourage gas plants to be built but EY says: “Until finalised, investors remain uncertain; meaning that the vast majority of planned gas power stations have not progressed from the drawing board.”

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