During a meeting with the Liaison Committee, Prime Minister David Cameron assured MPs that blackouts and power cuts would not become common by winter 2015.
He added that making sure households and businesses had access to power was his energy policy priority and implied it was more important than reducing carbon emissions and even keeping bills low.
Ofgem denies claims of impending blackouts
The Prime Minister has been responding to a question from Tim Yeo, head of the energy select committee, who asked: “Are you worried the Coalition’s legacy might be that the first winter of the next parliament might be when power cuts become the norm?”
Cameron replied that energy regulator Ofgem had assured him that there was no risk of power shortages.
“The information I have is: now we have put in place the Energy Act, now we have the capacity mechanism, and now crucially we have the ability to use short-term mechanisms – taking plants out of mothball if necessary, bringing them back online – there’s no danger of that happening,” said Cameron.
The greenest government ever?
Cameron also defended himself against claims that the Coalition Government were not delivering on their green mandate. He pointed out that the “greenest government ever” had invested £33bn in renewable energy sources in the past four years.
This view is likely to be questioned by opponents of fracking, a controversial gas extraction technique, which some claim can have severe environmental consequences. Cameron recently announced councils would be able to keep commissions from companies fracking on their land, a measure which some have suggested resembles a bribe.