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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
At-a-glance: Energy review
The key points of the UK energy review and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling's statement to MPs.

Energy needs

  • Climate change must be tackled but the UK also must ensure it has secure energy supplies at affordable prices

  • The government will publish a white paper around the end of the year on energy policy for the next 30 or 40 years

Nuclear power

  • Decisions on replacing Britain's nuclear power stations need to be made in the next few years

  • If nothing is done, the share of electricity generated by nuclear will fall from just under 20% now to 6% in 15 years' time

  • "New nuclear power stations would make a significant contribution to meeting our energy policy goals," says the review - if existing capacity is replaced carbon emissions would be lower by the equivalent of 22 gas-fired power stations

  • The Health and Safety Executive will develop guidance for potential promoters of new nuclear power plants by early next year

  • The private sector will have to fund, build and operate nuclear plants and cover decommissioning costs

  • Safety and security will be "paramount" for building new nuclear plants

  • The planning rules for nuclear and other new energy plants needs to be overhauled

Saving energy

  • Cutting the amount of carbon-polluting electricity generators will not be enough to meet the UK's target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 - energy must be saved, too

  • Consumers need better information about the amount of energy used, "smart metering", clearer energy bills and more information on home energy efficiency

  • The government will work with industry on making domestic appliances more efficient and phase out wasteful goods - saying 7% of all electricity is used by appliances left on standby

  • Government-owned properties should be carbon neutral by 2012

  • Ministers will encourage people to make their homes energy efficient

  • Energy suppliers must get incentives to make households more energy efficient, such as selling more insulation

Emissions trading

  • The government is planning an emissions trading scheme for the 5,000 large British businesses and public services not covered by the European trading scheme

  • There must be higher prices for carbon polluting generators


  • Fuel efficiency is improving. The use of lower carbon fuels, especially biofuels, will be encouraged

  • There will be most cost effective opportunities to save carbon as new technologies are developed

  • The target for the amount of transport fuel coming from renewable sources could be raised from 5% to 10% by 2015

Cleaner energy

  • More must be done to encourage smaller scale electricity generators - and combined heat and power plants - sited close to where the power is used

  • Low carbon alternatives such as bio mass, solar power and heat pumps will be encouraged


  • Electricity companies will have to provide 20% of energy from renewables - up from the current 15%

  • There will be consultations on banding the rules on renewables to encourage the growth of off shore wind power and tidal plants

Fossil fuels

  • Coal fired power still meets a third of electricity demand but its heavy carbon emissions must be tackled

  • Carbon capture and storage could cut emissions by 80-90% from fossil fuels

  • Carbon dioxide can be stored in old oil fields - the UK is working with Norway to develop this and plans will be in the pre-Budget report

  • Carbon capture could lead to saving several millions tonnes of carbon by 2020

  • Steps must be taken to secure gas supplies

The options to meet the UK's energy needs


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