Amber Rudd Speaks out about New Energy Policies

Secretary of State - Amber Rudd MP

‘Energy Policy Reset’ Speech at the Institute of Civil Engineers

Wednesday 18th November 2015 – from official DECC tweets:

To put this into context this speech is the first time that Amber Rudd has started speaking out about new policies. In the hours before the speech DECC formally announced that the Government plans to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025 and restrict their use by 2023 (see more on this announcement here). Elmhurst Energy has been monitoring the official DECC tweets on the speech, as it was not available to view.

In her opening moments Amber noted:

“Energy Security has to be the first priority”

“We need a course correction using the tools we have already developed through Electricity Market Reform”

“We want a consumer-led, competition focussed energy system that has Energy Security at the heart.”


In a true reflection of Conservative Policies she returns to state:

“We want to see a competitive electricity market with government out of the way as much as possible by 2025”

“Investors have built new LNG terminals and pipelines that have improved diversity of supply”


Alluding to the statement made early Amber re-iterated:

“But, frankly, it cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting 50-yr-old coal power stations.” 

To make up the mix she introduced:

 “So much is already in the pipeline- new gas such as plant at Carrington, increase in renewable over next 5 years and in the longer-term new nuclear power.”

 “In the next 10 years, it’s imperative that we get new gas-fired power stations built” 

Nuclear Power became the focus, obviously after recent agreement signings with the Chinese:

“The challenge, as with other low carbon technologies, is to deliver nuclear power which is low cost as well”

“There are plans for a new fleet of nuclear power stations, including at Wylfa and Moorside” 

Off shore wind comes next again reflecting the Conservative promise to back ‘only’ off shore wind:

“On current plans we expect to see 10GW of offshore wind installed by 2020”

“Technology needs to move quickly to cost-competitiveness- if that happens we could support up to 10GW of new offshore wind in 2020”

“New nuclear, new gas and if cost come down new offshore wind will all help us meet the challenge of decarbonisation”

Moving towards the UN Climate Change (CoP):

“Action on Climate Change is linked to the action we’re taking now to reduce the deficit. It is about resilience now and in the future”

quickly followed by: “And that is why achieving a global deal in Paris next month is so important”

Coming back to bill payers:

“We need to get the right balance between supporting new technologies and being tough on subsidies to keep bills as low as possible”

“Over 8GW of solar is already deployed and, even with the costs controls we have proposed, we expect to have around 12GW in place by 2020.”

“One of the greatest & cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions is replacing coal fired power stations with gas.”

She announced that DECC will have a consultation:

“Our consultation will set out proposals to close coal by 2025 - and restrict its use from 2023.”

Smart Meters were next on the agenda: 

“A fully smart energy system could help us to reduce costs by 10s of billions of pounds over the decades ahead.”

Again as a response to what the Conservatives believe was too much intervention in the previous parliament, and to justify the recent culls to renewable policies and the effect on the industry: “Our intervention has to be limited to where we can make a difference where technology has potential to scale up and compete without subsidy”

In summing up, bringing the speech back to the Economy and people’s fuel bills, she stated:

“Energy security provides the foundation of our future economic success. It is the top priority.” “Secure energy so people can get on with their lives.” “Affordable energy so the people that foot the bill, the households and businesses of Britain, get a good deal”

Throwing in: “And clean energy to safeguard our future economic security”


The full script will become available but we hope these headlines give us a clear steer on DECC new Energy Policy. The headlines appear to be very simple; Coal is going by 2025 and is to be replaced by a mix of Gas, Nuclear and some off shore wind. Smart Meters will make a huge difference to energy use.  The Conservatives want to get out of the way of market forces with no mention of energy efficiency as a policy strategy. Clearly the ‘devil is in the detail’ and Elmhurst will look at the full notes, but from the official DECC tweets the message appears clear. Stuart Fairlie – Head of Technical – Elmhurst Energy

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