Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, has said that UK businesses are concerned that a gas-heavy power system would increase exposure to price volatility and energy insecurity.
Speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum on the role of gas in the UK's electricity market, he said: "it is impossible to accurately predict the price of future energy technologies as it depends on so many variable factors, such as the global supply and demand for gas, the costs of carbon capture technology at scale and learning rates for renewable technologies."
"The challenge for Government is to manage unavoidable uncertainties and hedge against the risk of policy failure. Analysis by E3G demonstrates that if CCS is more expensive than predicted, or we under-deliver on energy efficiency, we might be forced to choose between affordable or low carbon energy further down the line. The costs of a gas intensive power sector in these scenarios could be up to 98% higher."
Responding to an article by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times on "why the world faces climate chaos", Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, said that "there is an alternative to watching the rise of greenhouse gases until it is too late".
In a letter published in the FT on 17th May, Mr Raingold argued that the technologies are available to meet the climate chaos challenge. He said: "analysis from a number of internationally respected organisations, such as the International Energy Agency, demonstrate that the technical challenges of scale and cost reduction can be reasonably circumvented to address energy security, economic development, climate change and universal access to modern energy services. This can be unlocked through active political and business leadership around a sellable vision of a prosperous low carbon economy that Mr Wolf describes, rather than waiting until after the event."
AG member Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, has urged the Government to clarify key Energy Bill details before the summer recess or risk months of stalled energy investment. This includes how the capacity mechanism will work, confirm the strike prices that will be available through the CfD regime for different technologies, successfully conclude the long-running nuclear negotiations, and adopt the amendment for a decarbonisation target for the power sector.
He told Business Green: "There's been widespread support for the (2030 decarbonisation) target, and not just from the usual suspects. We've seen business groups with broad support, such as the Aldersgate Group and the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, supporting the proposal - it is not confined to those businesses with a direct interest in the [clean energy] supply chain."