Speaking on 15th November at the launch of a major new study into gas in the future, the minister said the UK must move towards a low carbon energy system over the next few decades, in order to meet our ambitious and legally binding 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target.
‘Our decision last week to open the CCS demonstration programme to gas fired power plants will help to provide a long term future for gas. In the meantime gas is going to continue to play a vital role in keeping the lights on,’ Charles Hendry continued.
‘As we become increasingly dependent on imported gas, we are making it a priority to take steps to maximise our gas security of supply, we will be legislating on gas security in the forthcoming Energy Security & Green Economy Bill to give Ofgem new powers to sharpen the commercial incentives for gas companies to reduce the likelihood, duration, or severity of a gas shortage. Such measures should help underpin commercial demand for the additional gas infrastructure we will need in the future,’ concluded Mr Hendry.
Energy Networks Association (ENA), the voice of the UK’s gas and electricity infrastructure companies, commissioned the independent analysis, called ‘Gas Futures Scenarios’.
ENA chief executive David Smith said, ‘meeting the UK’s energy and climate change targets is a huge challenge and the government is reviewing the future of energy and new technologies. We have a major role in these discussions and commissioned this first ever in depth, independent analysis into the future role of gas in a low carbon economy, by respected energy consultants Redpoint.’
‘The report shows that gas is key to the UK economy and plays a vital role in finding a low cost, sustainable, secure and flexible solution to our energy and climate change needs. Compared with scenarios that phase gas out of the energy mix, under certain circumstances, there could be savings of up to £ 700 billion, meaning households could benefit from savings of £ 20 000 from their bills if a dual solution of gas and electricity is taken forward.’
‘ENA believes in an all encompassing energy solution, not just an electricity or gas solution. Redpont’s report clearly shows that by strengthening our gas supply and network, it can play a major role in the solution to our energy needs and achieving climate change targets.’
‘These scenarios show that gas is a bridge to the future as a major part of our energy mix in the UK and Ireland. We can achieve a lower cost option for investment whilst addressing the need for an affordable, secure and sustainable future for our energy needs.’