New legislative programme to bring forward electricity market reform to sure up nuclear new build programme

The government has said it will bring forward legislation later this month to sure up the grounds for investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure.

In a speech to Parliament today the Queen announced the government would bring forward its Energy Bill setting out how it would support low carbon energy generation. The Bill will be published on 22 May.

The Bill has been eagerly anticipated by the construction sector which is keen to see investment in building new nuclear power plants and large renewable energy schemes as a source of growth.

Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, welcomed the move to bring forward the Bill. He said: “One of the single most important issues facing the UK today is the worrying outlook for the security and stability of future energy provision for homes and businesses.”

Other measures announced in the speech that will serve to boost the construction sector included:

  • The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which will aim to cut red tape for business in the UK and attract foreign investment
  • A draft Water Bill that will look to stimulate investment in the UK’s troubled water infrastructure
  • Court and tribunal reforms that will increase the efficiency of the strained court system
  • The establishment of the Green Investment Bank

But Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, said the plans did not go far enough to help the construction sector, which contracted by 3% in the last quarter.

He said: “Deregulation is not a miracle cure - in fact we probably need greater intervention from government – for example bringing in incentives like reduced stamp duty to encourage households to take up the Green Deal, and helping the commercial sector cut energy use.”

“The Green Investment Bank is a welcome example of the Government intervening to help create a market, but on its own will not be enough to salvage the Government’s green credentials,” he added.

However, Brian Berry chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said that both the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and the changes to court and tribunal services would boost the position of small businesses.

“Small construction businesses are the backbone of the UK economy but red tape means they are at breaking point which is why reform of tribunals to give small businesses owners greater flexibility is a welcome initiative,” he said.