Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, addressed the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this afternoon. She began her speech was setting out the Government’s objective to build an economy built upon “stability, security and opportunity”, of which energy policy must be the “backbone”. She conceded that meeting the needs of the trilemma (low-cost, low-carbon and secure energy supplies) is not easy to balance, but that fundamentally, energy policy should be driven by bill payers: “the consumer, the consumer, the consumer”. She added that DECC will work to “champion the consumer” and that it is working on a “root-and-branch review of energy policies”.
On shale gas, the Energy Secretary reiterated the Government’s support for “the safe development of shale gas in the UK, because gas is going to be part of the transition to a low carbon economy.” She also referenced activity in the United States, stating that shale gas “has led to dramatic reductions in US carbon emissions because it is cheaper without subsidy than the dirtier alternative.” She also said: “It’s also good for jobs: it’s part of our plan to build the Northern Powerhouse and ensure the potential of all parts of the UK is realised; and it’s good for our energy security.”