The UK government will not bail out failed energy companies, the business secretary has insisted, despite industry warnings of more supplier failures in the coming weeks.
Speaking at the Energy UK conference on Thursday, Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng reiterated his pledge to “not bail out failing companies”. “They cannot be rewarded for irresponsible management of the business,” he said.
However, Mr Quarteng acknowledged that the sector could “see companies exiting the market” in the near future, adding that “it is a difficult time”.
Inaugurating the conference, Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck warned that “we will see more businesses fail in the coming weeks”. Speaking about the recent energy crisis, he said: “I don’t think we are in many ways through this period … it’s an extraordinary time.”
His remarks come in the light of a new report about the state of the country’s energy supply from the national grid.
The UK is facing a tight supply of electricity due to rising demand and capacity constraints, the National Grid electricity system operator said on Thursday.
He warned of greater risk of blackouts and “significant price spikes” in the coming months.
Trade Secretary Quasi Quarteng responded to the report, saying that “we have full confidence in the security of our supplies”. He added: “This shows that the UK is an excellent place as far as energy security is concerned.”
Mr Quarteng pointed to decarbonization as a means to protect consumers from volatile fossil fuel prices.
Ahead of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow, he said: “The UK has made great strides so far, as many of you know, in diversifying our energy mix. But we are still dealing with fossil fuels and their volatile nature.” Too dependent on prices, probably too dependent.”
He said that the government’s pledge to make the electricity grid carbon-free by 2035 will help the consumers.
Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of industry body Energy UK, also announced on Thursday that the industry believes it can create a net zero electricity system in the 2030s.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /