Investing in new renewable power generation, rather than a "dash for gas", will be the lower-cost option for keeping the lights on while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the government's climate change watchdog has said.
The sooner the UK makes large investments in low-carbon generation – including offshore and onshore wind, solar, nuclear power and energy from waste – the cheaper it will be, according to David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the statutory body that advises ministers on meeting emissions targets.
The CCC's analysis found that investing in renewable energy made sense even if the price of gas was relatively low.
"Not investing in renewables only makes sense if you don't want to meet our emissions targets – if you tear up the Climate Change Act."
A DECC spokeswoman said: "We agree with the CCC on both the need to invest in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies, and the need to reduce our dependence on imported gas which is the main factor driving up household energy bills.''