Energy policy reaching 'critical stage'

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The UK is reaching a critical stage as it plans its future policies on energy, according to a senior government official.

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks says that the next few months will be critical in shaping Britain's future ability to meet demand for the coming two decades.

With climate change and the geopolitics of the energy supply chain set to become major issue in the 21st Century, the ability to meet demand for energy will become critical to national security, Mr Wicks says.

"No one wants the lights to be going out in 20 years time. I'm not saying they will. They won't. But they won't because of the decisions we will be taking over the rest of the year," Mr Wicks commented.

The energy minister said that "the dark reality is that the world is going to be burning fossil fuels for another 100 years" - and so there is long-term need for carbon abatement technology.

"I think carbon capture and storage technology is one of those happy areas where the ethical and the environmental, the commercial and the profitable, come together," Mr Wicks commented.

The government is currently undertaking a five-month consultation exercise on whether it should construct a new generation of nuclear power stations.

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