December 22, 2013

Energy Bill Receives Royal Assent

The UK government’s flagship Energy Bill became law today, enshrining in statute a raft of new powers intended to reform the energy market.

The Bill received Royal Assent in the House of Lords this morning and will become the Energy Act 2013 when signed off by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II later today.

The legislation sets out the core principles of DECC’s electricity market reform agenda, and heralds the closure of the Renewables Obligation to new entrants in April 2017. After this date feed-in tariffs with Contracts for Difference will become the primary support regime for large scale low carbon generators.

The Bill enables the Secretary of State to set a 2030 decarbonisation target for the electricity sector in 2016, and to hold capacity market auctions that are designed to ensure security of supply.

The legislation also provides backstop powers for the government to establish an off-taker of last resort to ensure a route to market for independent generators.

Further information on these and other crucial elements of EMR, such as the draft allocation technical framework, will be published over the coming days, weeks and months.

RenewableUK welcomed the Royal Assent and said it meant “the framework for development beyond 2017 is known”.

Chief executive Maria McCaffery warned, however: “There are issues still to be resolved through secondary legislation and in the face of very challenging strike prices there is much work to be done between government and industry to ensure that obstacles are removed and much-needed clean and domestic sources of energy can come forward over the next decade.”

Secondary legislation setting out the finer details of EMR implementation will be laid before parliament towards early summer 2014.

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