Britain’s Members of Parliament face a race against time to decide on the future of UK energy, after mixed calls from MPs have cast doubt over a unified strategy.
The December introduction of ‘The Energy Bill’ was designed to be a the keystone of the United Kingdom’s energy infrastructure – thrashed out between the major parties over a period of months, the bill outlined the treatment of certain types of energy, commercial energy bodies and provided guidelines for the big energy companies.
Just nine months later, however, the direction of the country’s energy future seems just as much in doubt as it did pre-Energy Bill, as committees of MPs have called for backing of a widely-varying array of energy sources and finding.
The government-appointed Energy and Climate Change (ECC) committee spokesman Dr Alan Whitehead has thrown his weight behind green energy for businesses and homes, saying “Businesses can reduce their energy overheads, locals can potentially benefit from cheaper electricity or heat, and councils can use projects to tackle fuel poverty, cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.” adding “Medium-scale power plants could also help to boost energy security.”
However, the government sees energy security coming from new nuclear and – perhaps most controversially – fracking. Chancellor George Osborne said: “There is an an energy revolution underway in the US and China that has dramatically reduced energy costs meaning manufacturing businesses are returning to the US.”
“I want to see that kind of thing in Britain. I want to see families with lower energy bills”. Osborne added.
“The Conservative party understands you have to balance your policy, but the new regime for fracking has very clear community benefit so we have designed a regime that is very generous for local communities where this activity might take place.”
With the Energy and Climate Change (ECC) committee backing funding for more orthodox green energy solutions for businesses, homes and public institutions like schools it seems the parliament-selected committee will be at odds with the government’s aim to cash in on fracking.
Which would you rather was the driving force behind the UK’s energy economy? Let us know in the comments, or by getting in touch with us on Twitter.