Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Sunday, 13 September 2009 15:38 UK

No power cuts danger - Miliband

'Wind farms enjoy popular support, Mr Miliband says

There is "no danger" of mass power cuts in the UK during the next decade, Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has said.

He told the BBC it was possible to meet the country's energy needs while using more "sustainable" sources such as wind farms and nuclear stations.

Last week the government's new energy adviser warned that the UK could face blackouts by 2016 as green energy is coming on stream too slowly.

But Mr Miliband said building projects would be completed in time.

Cambridge University researcher David MacKay, who takes up his post as adviser at the Department of Energy on 1 October, has warned that the public will keep objecting to facilities such as wind farms and nuclear power stations being constructed near their homes.

New stations

As older coal-powered stations close, he argues, this will create a shortfall in energy which could lead to widespread blackouts by 2016.

But Mr Miliband told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "There's no danger of power cuts in the next decade."

He added: "The question is do we meet our own energy security needs in a high-carbon way or do we do it in with renewable energy?"

Mr Miliband said power stations were closing but that new ones capable of producing 10 gigawatts - enough to power 10 million homes - were being built.

Stations with the same capacity again had planning consent, he added.

He said "about 75%" of the population supported wind farms and that building the next generation of nuclear plants would begin by the end of 2017.

The Conservatives say the government has been complacent over energy security and that ministers have dithered over policy.



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