Energy policy ‘too wind focused’

By Liz Stephens

Business leaders called today for the government to invest more in nuclear and clean coal technology and put less emphasis on wind power.

The CBI called government energy policy “disjointed” and urged a “more balanced” energy mix to secure a low-carbon future for the country.

In a report called ‘Decision Time’, the organisation warned the current approach might mean the UK misses climate change targets.

CBI deputy director general, John Cridland, said: “If we carry on like this we will end up putting too many of our energy eggs in one basket.”

However, Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy and formerly a member of the CBI’s energy policy committee, said the document came as “no surprise” because the increase in wind power threatens the big power companies who dominate the CBI committee.

“EDF have been lobbying very hard for less obligations on renewables, saying it will distract from nuclear,” he said.

The CBI wants the government to reduce the percentage of wind power expected by 2020, to encourage investment in other low-carbon energy sources.

However, some environmentalists have criticised the viability of clean coal technologies as a low-carbon energy source, with many of them considering ‘clean coal’ to be an oxymoron.

The government said putting in place a balanced mix of renewable energy, new nuclear energy and cleaner fossil fuels was at the heart of its energy policy.