Pressure not to dismiss gas plans

Cuadrilla gas drill at Singleton
Cuadrilla gas drill at Singleton
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THE leading energy lobby in Parliament says fracking and gas storage plans for the Fylde coast must be explored to keep up with the UKs ever growing need for electricity.

The Major Energy Users Council (MEUC) told The Gazette the two projects must be examined in full before being given the go-ahead, but that they must also not be dismissed without being given a fair hearing.

Andrew Buckley, director general of MEUC, said: “We’ve got to decarbonise electricity production by 2020 and the Government says it needs to raise £200bn from private investors in the electricity market.

“The general view is that the world continues to increase the amount of electricity we’re going to need all of the new processes to keep up with demand.

“We’re in favour of ensuring we develop all of the resources we have in the UK – in a reasonable and professional manner.

“We have to look at every possible source – but they must all be checked to the full before they can go ahead.”

But Philip Mitchell of Blackpool Green Party said: “It’s not true there is a growing need for electricity – the biggest firms should improve their efficiency and that will negate a need for more production.”

Mr Buckley was speaking as he praised the steps taken by green entrepreneur Simon Rigby’s anaerobic digestion plants – which offer the “perfect” green solution to producing power, according to Mr Buckley.

He said: “Greengen should be congratulated. It’s great for consumers to be able to buy locally-sourced electricity and this is something we want to see across the UK.”

MEUC started life in 1987 as the nationalised fuel supply industries prepared for privatisation and got ready for the introduction of competition in gas and electricity supply.

MEUC representatives sit on Government, regulatory and supply industry committees and when issues of pressing concern emerge, sets up action groups to harness members’ views and present them to decision makers. The Energy Credit Action Group formed in the wake of the Credit Crisis is an example.