Energy efficiency in the industry is key to 'lower electricity prices'

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The G8 countries should be pushing for a regulatory framework for renewable energy to ensure firms move ahead with carbon trading.

European energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs has called for an ambitious agreement on carbon trading to be put forward at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December – a move that could reduce the cost of renewable electricity for consumers.

Mr Piebalgs said: "Our main tool to drive the energy sector towards a low-carbon system is the price of CO2 in an open market.

"We have also provided a clear regulatory framework to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency."

He added that the European Commission is also trying to increase the amount of research into carbon emission reduction technologies.

Meanwhile, Europe's biggest liquefied natural gas terminal was opened by the Queen this week, causing industry experts to speculate that the cost of the fuel will come down.

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