The Government’s energy legislation has come under pressure from a senior Tory who wants it to include targets to slash emissions from the power sector.
Tim Yeo, chairman of the cross-party parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee, said he will seek to amend the recently published Energy Bill to include a target to decarbonise electricity generation by 2030.
The Energy Bill does not include a 2030 figure for slashing power sector emissions, despite calls from industry, green groups and the Government’s climate advisers that one was needed to boost investment in low carbon technology such as wind farms and nuclear reactors.
The absence of a target was widely interpreted as a win for the Treasury and Chancellor George Osborne who has been pushing a pro-gas agenda, against the Energy and Climate Change Department headed by Lib Dem Ed Davey.
Mr Yeo said: “Lumbering the economy with a centralised power system largely reliant on gas would be like running an office using a fax machine in the age of the iPad.”
In a speech to energy investors in the City, he warned that without a target to phase out fossil fuels, the Energy Bill may fail to deliver a world-leading and clean power system for the 21st century.
The UK faced a choice between embracing the technology of the future and reducing reliance on fossil fuels, or clinging to a power system of the past and risking being left behind as other countries push ahead with clean energy, he said.