Efficiency cited as goal for long term

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A secure, low carbon mix and greater energy efficiency are the central themes to come from the New Energy White Paper published by Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling today.

Speaking to parliament Mr Darling said that there was a "pressing need" for investment in low carbon sources - as a third of the UK's current electricity capacity is due to close within the next 20 years.

"We will work to ensure there is a market price for carbon into the long term by strengthening the EU Emissions Trading Scheme," he continued.

"We will triple the amount of electricity we get from renewables by 2015. We want to lead in the development of carbon capture and storage. And we will consult on the significant role that new nuclear power stations could play in cutting emissions and diversifying our supply."

He also said that the UK was becoming increasingly reliant on imported oil and gas at a time when global demand is "accelerating".

"We will ensure that we make the most of our substantial remaining reserves in the North Sea, have a diverse range of sources for our imports and make further progress opening up markets in Europe and more widely," he said.

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