HC Deb 09 November 1999 vol 337 cc477-8W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he introduced his stricter consents policy on energy sources for power generation; and when he will relax it. [97659]

Mrs. Liddell

[holding answer 8 November 1999]: The White Paper of October 1998 "Conclusions of The Review of Energy Sources for Power Generation and Government responses to fourth and fifth Reports of the Trade and Industry Committee" (Cm 4071) set out the Government's programme of reform in the electricity market and introduced a stricter policy on consents for gas-fired power stations to protect diversity and security of supply while the programme of reform was underway. As set out in the White Paper, the policy will be relaxed as soon as the Government conclude, on the basis of advice from the Director General of Electricity Supply on progress in addressing the competition issues, that the reform programme has been undertaken and the distortions in the electricity market removed. While this would not necessarily mean completing every aspect of the programme, the Government expect the reforms to be substantially complete across the picture before the consents policy is relaxed.

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