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UK Passes Bill to Promote Renewable Energy and Decommission Nuclear Plants 

The following press release was issued by the British Department of Trade and Industry

P/2003/581

28 November 2003

ENERGY - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

New Bill for sustainable future will also deal with UK's nuclear
legacy

A new Bill to promote "cleaner, greener power" and competitive and
reliable energy supplies for now and generations to come, is
published today.

The Energy Bill, introduced in the House of Lords yesterday, will
implement a range of commitments made in the Energy White Paper: Our
energy future - creating a low carbon economy, published in February.

Energy Minister Stephen Timms said:

"The Energy White paper was a milestone in energy policy. It set out
a new strategy for the long-term, based upon four goals:
environmental protection, energy reliability, competitive markets and
affordable energy for all.

"This Bill demonstrates that we are serious about meeting the
challenging targets of the White Paper, with measures which will help
us ensure that 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by
the year 2010.

"The policies we are putting in place today are not merely for the
here and now; future generations will reap the rewards of cleaner,
greener power. The White Paper stated our aspiration for renewables
to meet 20% of our electricity needs by 2020, and by 2050, we are
working to cut our CO2 emissions by 60%." The Minister outlined the
core themes of the bill: sustainable energy; dealing with the nuclear
legacy; and competitive energy markets.

"The Bill will help support our renewables goals, by enabling us, for
the first time, to explore building projects beyond our territorial
waters. This will mean that developments can be on a larger scale,
and that we can exploit the potential not only of future offshore
wind farms, but also of wave and tidal power schemes.

"The Bill not only underlines our commitment to a sustainable energy
policy for the future but also signals how we are taking
responsibility for cleaning up the nuclear legacy of the past.

"The establishment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will
ensure that we effectively deal with our nuclear legacy. For the
first time, one public body will have complete responsibility for the
decommissioning and clean-up of the UK's civil nuclear sites, and for
the safe and effective management of our nuclear waste. It will
utilise the leading scientists and engineers in the field; exploit
the latest technology; and establish the UK as a world leader in the
pursuit of a successful, safe and sustainable solution.

"Our commitment to the future starts with putting the building blocks
in place today. The new British Electricity Trading and Transmission
Arrangements (BETTA) will help ensure competitive and reliable energy
supplies for consumers well into the future. It will establish a
single wholesale electricity market for Britain, and mean that
Scottish consumers, particularly, will enjoy the benefits of a more
competitive energy market. BETTA will also help the growth of
renewables, by spreading the cost of grid reinforcement - which is
needed to accommodate renewable energy - across all users throughout
the country."

The Bill also includes a number of technical provisions aimed at
ensuring competitive and reliable energy supplies.

Notes to Editors

1. The Energy Bill was announced in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday
26 November 2003 and was introduced in the House of Lords on Thursday
27 November. It is published today, Friday 28 November 2003 and can
be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/pabills.htm

2. The Energy White Paper, Our energy future - creating a low carbon
economy, was published on 24 February 2003. It is available on the
DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper.index.shtml

3. The website also carries information about the plans and
achievements of the Sustainable Energy Policy Network (SEPN). The
network comprises Government Departments, devolved administrations,
regulators and other organisations, which are jointly responsible for
implementing some 130 commitments set out in the White Paper.

4. The Government committed itself to introducing legislation for
offshore wind farms beyond territorial waters in the Energy White
Paper. The Bill fulfils that commitment and covers other offshore
renewables, such as wave and tidal power, which are expected to
become commercially viable in the future.

5. The White Paper on Managing the Nuclear Legacy was published in
July 2002. A Draft Bill implementing the White Paper - the Nuclear
Sites and Radioactive Substances Bill - was published on 24 June
2003. It has now been incorporated into the Energy Bill. The Bill
provides for the NDA to be established as a Non Departmental Public
Body; sets out its functions, duties and powers; and details NDA's
funding mechanism. It also allows for the restructuring of BNFL,
establishing a pension scheme for future employees, and potentially
the clean up of British Energy, MoD and private sector site if agreed
in future.

Department of Trade and Industry

7th Floor
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET
Public Enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740
(for those with hearing impairment)
www.dti.gov.uk

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