[Mr David Amess in the Chair] — Energy Supply

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 6th September 2012.

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Photo of Tim Yeo Tim Yeo Chair, Energy and Climate Change Committee 2:30 pm, 6th September 2012

I agree with my hon. Friend: clearly, there is an opportunity for the very low price in the United States to influence prices here. If the US is allowed to do that—and it is converting some of its terminals to export rather than import LNG—the differential is too attractive not to pursue it. However, I doubt whether that by itself would be sufficient to offset the upward pressure from the much faster-growing and larger economies in the east.

Security also depends on a much greater investment in energy efficiency. As we all know, Britain now needs a huge investment in generating capacity. There is no guarantee that that will be forthcoming unless we have clarity and general stability of policy. I urge the Minister to ensure that there is no slippage in the discussions—not just those about the energy Bill but the negotiations on strike prices for contracts for difference—that are under way. The nuclear industry in particular requires as much clarity as possible as it has enormous capital needs and long delays before any return is achieved. I am sure the Minister will find that matter pretty high up his briefing pack.