$171bn Needed for Green Power Plants

16 December 2010 (Last Updated December 16th, 2010 18:30)

Energy companies in the UK will need to invest more than £110bn ($171.6bn) in new power stations and grid upgrades over the next decade, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has said. As part of the electricity market reforms planned for the country, a quarter of the UK's exi

Energy companies in the UK will need to invest more than £110bn ($171.6bn) in new power stations and grid upgrades over the next decade, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has said.

As part of the electricity market reforms planned for the country, a quarter of the UK's existing generation capacity will need replacing by 2020 and about 30% of electricity must come from renewables.

Huhne proposed that in order to meet these targets, the UK must put forward carbon reduction targets and introduce low carbon technologies.

"Without investment in renewables, new nuclear and carbon capture and storage emissions will remain too high, and we will become dependent on energy imports and increasingly vulnerable to fossil fuel price volatility," Huhne said.

"Low carbon technologies must be given the chance to become the dominant component in our electricity mix.

The new plans are expected to lead energy companies to pass costs for new power stations on to their consumers, resulting in a surge in electricity bills.

uSwitch, the price comparison website, said that funding that investment will cost households more than £500 a year on top of the current total average energy bill of £1,157, reports the Telegraph.