. . . unless fuel prices rise. Telegraph:
Britain must get used to price rises on fuel bills or face blackouts, Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, warned yesterday.
Announcing a major shake-up of the power supply market, he insisted that increases in fuel bills would still be less than the rises predicted if the country did not invest in low carbon energy and relied on fossil fuels instead.
The reforms would help secure the £110 billion investment needed to replace the quarter of UK power stations which were set to close in the next decade, Mr Huhne added.
“We have 25 years of dithering on energy investment and now decision day is coming,” he said. “You can have investment or you can have blackouts. What do you want?”
The shake-up will see companies given long-term contracts guaranteeing a stable price for electricity from low-carbon sources, such as nuclear and renewables.
Mr Huhne said the deals would give investors the certainty needed to invest in power sources with high up-front costs — such as nuclear reactors and offshore wind farms — reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels and the impact on consumers of rising gas and oil prices.