Energy, climate change committee kicks off

Former Labour environment minister Elliot Morley is to chair the newly formed House of Commons energy and climate change committee. It announced its first two inquiries in February.

The first will examine UK offshore oil and gas, the extent of current reserves and their potential to contribute to future energy needs. It will also consider how to minimise the environmental impact of exploitation, the consequences of the credit crunch and the effectiveness of the current fiscal and regulatory framework. Written submissions will be accepted until 4 March.

The second inquiry will look at the future of Britain’s electricity networks and how they must adapt to changes in the generation mix.

The committee will consider the potential for a ‘supergrid’ connecting the UK to Europe, Scandinavia and North Africa.

It will also look into the electricity network needed to facilitate the EU’s 2020 renewable energy target, longer-term targets, and issues around nuclear new-build and transmission capacity for both onshore and offshore wind generation.

Mr Morley is well-known for opposing new nuclear build, a position thought to have cost him his job as minister for climate change and the environment in 2006 (ENDS Report 376, p 5 ).

The deadline for written submissions is 18 March.

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