Ed Davey: Energy Act will create 200,000 Green Jobs

April 22, 2014 5:12 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Today Ed Davey has published an article announcing that the Energy Bill that he has been driving through Parliament is now law. After Labour's legacy of underinvestment in the energy sector, the Liberal Democrats have been working to increase green energy, whilst making sure that consumers are protected.

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The article is as follows:

Creating the world's first ever low carbon electricity market is a major achievement for the Liberal Democrats and the Coalition. And it has been delivered on time.

So, what will the Energy Act deliver?

It will create 200,000 green jobs.

The framework we've now put in place will create 250,000 jobs in the energy sector by 2020 - and 200,000 of them in renewables. The investment that we're unlocking will produce green jobs up and down the country in offshore and onshore wind, biomass, solar and other renewables.

It will keep the lights on.

The Coalition inherited a shocking Labour legacy of underinvestment in the energy sector and without prompt action, would have left the UK with a serious threat of the lights going out.

Around one-fifth of generating capacity is due to close over the next decade, including all but one of our nuclear power stations as well as almost all coal stations. To meet this energy gap, Liberal Democrats in Government have already secured more than £30 billion of investment in renewables and the Energy Act puts in place the framework to unlock a further £40 billion.

Make no mistake, under a Labour Government much of this would be brought to a grinding halt. If you don't believe me then the Head of the OECD's comments are worth considering. Angel Gurria said that under Labour's price freeze plans, investors in energy will "probably go bankrupt." Labour's policy threatens the action we have taken to keep the lights on and to tackle climate change.

For the investment our policies are stimulating means Liberal Democrats are delivering on tackling climate change.

The Energy Act will ensure that by 2020, 10m homes in the UK are powered by green energy. As a result, CO2 emissions will plummet by 20m tonnes a year - the equivalent of annual emissions from 7m UK households, or 30% of our cars.

And our Energy Act will protect consumers.

Keeping bills down for consumers is also at the heart of the Act. Increasing the amount of home-grown green energy will ensure we don't become increasingly reliant on importing gas - the key driver behind energy bill increases over the last few years.

Liberal Democrats have also introduced measures to ensure the Big 6 energy firms that emerged under the last Labour Government are forced to provide much simpler bills and switch people to cheaper tariffs, and face stiffer competition in both retail and generating markets. And consumers will now be directly compensated if they have been hit by wrongdoing by energy suppliers.

Liberal Democrats should be proud that we're increasing green energy, and with it creating thousands of green jobs. All while ensuring consumers are protected in the long-term and the Big 6 energy firms that Labour created at last feel the heat of competition.