(BN) U.K. Energy Plan May Boost Bills Unnecessarily, Helm


U.K. Energy Plan May Boost Bills Unnecessarily, Helm Says
2010-12-16 16:37:36.638 GMT

By Catherine Airlie and Mathew Carr
Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. electricity market reforms,
including subsidies for low-carbon generation, may force
customers to pay higher-than-necessary prices, said Dieter Helm,
professor of energy policy at Oxford University.
"The government still seems wedded to pursuing one of the
most expensive routes to decarbonization -- offshore wind,"
Helm said today in an e-mailed statement. "It is also of
considerable concern that the intention is to tailor the
subsidies on a technology-by-technology basis," he said.
This is case of "picking winners," and the problem is
that in practice the government is likely to choose the
technologies with the strongest lobby groups, he said. "Too
often losers pick governments. The result is that customers will
face unnecessarily large increases in bills."
The British government has recognized that the current
market arrangements won't deliver either the carbon targets nor
security of supply, Helm said.

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--Editors: Mike Anderson, Randall Hackley.

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