Energy Bill clause pushes 2030 decarbonisation target forward
New clauses in the Energy Bill will grant the Government powers to set a 2030 decarbonisation target range for the electricity sector in 2016.
The clause will take affect once the Committee on Climate Change provides advice on the level of the fifth carbon budget and is set in law, says the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, said: "We will [ ] take powers to set a decarbonisation target range for the power sector in 2016, which will provide a clear signal to industry and investors that we are serious about moving to a low-carbon economy".
According to DECC, the decarbonisation target range in 2016 will take into consideration the pathway of the whole economy towards the 2050 target, and minimise costs to the economy and bill payers.
Prior to this, Government will issue guidance to the National Grid on an indicative range of decarbonisation scenarios for the power sector in 2030 consistent with achieving the 2050 target at the lowest possible cost.
Last year, Labour leader Ed Miliband called on the Government to commit to a 2030 decarbonisation target in the energy bill, arguing that billions of pounds in investment had already gone “elsewhere or is being put on hold". He also stressed that under a Labour government the 2030 decarbonisation target would be put in place.
However, it has been reported that Chancellor George Osborne, along with some senior ministers, is opposed to setting the target because it is not in line with his gas vision.
In addition to the decarbonisation clause, the Government tabled a new clause to ensure that consumers get a better deal on their energy bills.
The clause will reduce the number of domestic energy tariffs available and ensure that consumers cannot be left behind on poor value 'dead' tariffs.
Bills will include clear information on the savings consumers can make by switching, and enhanced competition, choice and innovation will be encouraged in the market.
Davey said: "I am determined to ensure that consumers get the cheapest tariff they can. So, we will amend the Energy Bill to reduce the bamboozling array of tariffs available on the market and to simplify bills, whilst continuing to work with Ofgem to deliver a simpler, more competitive market".
The Government also tabled a clause to enable DECC to charge fees for providing energy resilience services in the event of a disruption, or threatened disruption, to energy supplies.