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Business Secretary: Renewables will shield households from soaring gas bills

The Prime Minister plans to decarbonise the UK’s electricity production in 14 years.

August Graham
Thursday 07 October 2021 11:37 BST
(Peter Byrne/PA)
(Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Consumers will be better insulated from erratic gas prices as wind and solar power start providing more energy to the UK’s households, the Business Secretary has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng said that by decarbonising the UK’s power supply, the Government would ensure that households are less vulnerable to swings in fossil fuel markets.

“The UK so far, as many of you know, has made great progress in diversifying our energy mix. But we are still very dependent, perhaps too dependent, on fossil fuels and their volatile prices,” he told a conference organised by trade body Energy UK.

We will use the wealth of Britain's natural resources to deliver cleaner, cheaper power

Kwasi Kwarteng

Earlier this month the Prime Minister announced plans to bring forward by 15 years the target to decarbonise the production of electricity in the UK.

By 2035 all electricity provided to the grid will be from wind power and other technologies such as hydrogen and capturing carbon, Boris Johnson said.

On Thursday Mr Kwarteng said this pledge would help households’ wallets as well as reducing their carbon footprint.

“Our homes and businesses will be powered by affordable, clean and secure electricity generated here in the UK, for people in the UK,” Mr Kwarteng said.

“Relying on homegrown power generation will protect consumers from gas price fluctuations.

“And it will, in the long run, bring down bills. We will use the wealth of Britain’s natural resources to deliver cleaner, cheaper power.”

Kwasi Kwarteng during the Conservative Party conference (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Kwarteng was speaking after the price of gas spiked in recent weeks. On Wednesday they hit new record highs, but fell again after Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted he might send more gas to Europe.

The prices have driven many businesses to bankruptcy, and energy suppliers that are having to sometimes sell gas for less than they buy it are finding it impossible to continue.

Earlier this week Omni Energy warned customers it is likely to become another casualty in the energy sector.

According to The Guardian, it told customers: “The cost of wholesale energy is continuing to rise and without significant change in the wholesale cost of energy, or a Government intervention, it is highly likely Omni Energy will cease trading before the end of November.”

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