HC Deb 27 March 2003 vol 402 cc320-1W
Richard Ottaway

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how she intends to attract long term investment for the construction of new electricity generating equipment. [104830]

Mr. Wilson

The Energy White Paper has set a long term framework for energy markets including electricity generation, with energy markets a cornerstone of energy policy. Such a framework is necessary to give companies the confidence to invest.

Given current levels of capacity, including mothballed plant, and our expectations of growing renewables generation and energy efficiency improvements over the coming years, we are unlikely to need significant new investment in non-renewable power stations over the next five years or possibly longer. The UK market provides strong financial incentives for suppliers to contract for sufficient power. Incentives for investment in renewables will come mainly through the Renewables Obligation.

At the same time, DTI and OFGEM will continue and expand our monitoring of energy security and we will look to OFGEM vigorously to apply and enforce licence conditions on industry participants relating to security.