EU emissions trading scheme threatens electricity blackouts

by William Yeatman on May 11, 2004

in Politics

According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) report, world demand for energy is expected to rise by two-thirds between now and 2030. Consequently, energy firms in Europe must dramatically increase supply. However, they have been slow do to so because of the new emissions trading directive and uncertainty over future regulation. Manfred Wiegand, PWCs global utilities leader, said: “Companies are facing a huge need for investment. The bill from now until 2030 is some $10 trillion and they need a consistent and stable regulatory environment to make the sector more attractive to investors.”

Investment in newer and cleaners plants has ground to a halt in places such as the United Kingdom where the government has embraced the Kyoto treaty and pledged to cut greenhouse gases by 5.5m tonnes by 2010. It is the opinion of energy experts that blackouts such as the one in London last August that trapped 250,000 commuters are therefore likely to become more frequent. Paul Golby of Powergen stated “We want to invest but we have all had our fingers burnt in the past” and “over the next few months the government must make some key decisions about how emissions trading will be implemented.” (The Times, May 9)

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