Friends of the Earth Scotland today (Tuesday 12 July 2011) responded to the UK coalition Government’s proposals for reforming the electricity market.

Coming weeks after high wholesale gas prices and subsequent price hikes
plunged thousands into fuel poverty, electricity market reform is needed now
more than ever. Yet the current proposals fail to properly support
investment in demand reduction and clean, green energy and will provide
windfall profits for the nuclear industry.

Stan Blackley, Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“The UK energy system is broken. Sky-rocketing fossil fuel prices have us
all over a barrel, and our nuclear power stations seem to require endless
public cash injections, yet the UK Government’s plans appear to pander to
the dirty energy companies while holding consumers to ransom with sky-high
power bills.

“Scotland’s renewable potential needs to be captured if we are to have any
chance of addressing our climate wrecking carbon emissions and high energy
prices based on gas imports. If we are to create a future where energy
prices are affordable, low carbon jobs are plentiful, and Scotland is a
leading force in renewable energy, plans must be set in place now to
implement that vision.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland claim that, if Scotland is to fulfil its
renewable energy potential and lift its most vulnerable citizens out of fuel
poverty, Electricity Market Reform must:

– Deliver proper investment in clean energy, rather than hidden subsidies
for nuclear and gas.
– Include real incentives for energy efficiency and demand reduction given
this is the cheapest way to keep bills down in the long run.
– Toughen the emissions performance standard to help ensure that Britain’s
power sector is fully decarbonised by 2030.
– Open up the electricity market to encourage decentralised, community owned
generation, rather than propping up the big 6 power companies who are
disadvantaging consumers and preventing Scotland from tackling fuel poverty.

ENDS

For enquiries, please contact:
Friends of the Earth Scotland media phone, 07848030126

Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters
and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting
over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local
activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk