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Shale Gas Triggers Calls For UK Energy Policy Review

CONSUMER champion Ann Robinson is calling for a rethink on energy policy so that the Government does not invest in costly forms of generation at the expense of cheaper ones.

A new pricing mechanism for the price of carbon, which comes in next year, favours investment in nuclear energy over coal and gas because it emits no carbon.

But Robinson, director of consumer policy at price comparison site uSwitch, says new sources of gas, such as shale gas, make gas-fired stations an attractive option for the UK again.

They went out of vogue when security of supply became a political issue due to sabre-rattling in Russia. Robinson said: “Energy policy needs a proper review if the UK is going to double generation by 2050 as planned.

“At the moment we should invest in what is sensible. There is no big rush given our current energy surplus of 40 per cent.

“Meeting our carbon commitments means reviewing our policy on gas.

“When looking at other forms of energy, the level of investment and cost of maintenance, of wind turbines for example, must be taken into consideration. We must see green taxes and subsidies minimised. Ministers should keep carbon taxes to a minimum.”

Utility News, 23 January 2012