Britain's energy security bill set to become law

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Electricity pylons are seen in Wellingborough, Britain, March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

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LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) - The British government said on Wednesday that plans to bolster the country's energy security, diversify away from fossil fuels and protect consumers from spiralling prices are set to become law.

Britain's energy security bill will be introduced to Parliament on Wednesday and includes 26 measures to reform the energy system and reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile gas prices.

Global energy prices have skyrocketed this year, particularly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine which has led to many European countries trying to reduce reliance on Russian pipeline gas and seek cheaper alternatives.

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The bill will help drive 100 billion pounds ($119 billion) of private sector investment by 2030 into industries to diversify Britain's energy supply, including hydrogen and offshore wind, and create around 480,000 jobs by the end of the decade, the government said.

"We’re going to slash red tape, get investment into the UK, and grab as much global market share as possible in new technologies to make this plan a reality," Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement.

The bill will establish a new independent system operator to coordinate and plan Britain's energy system.

It will also enable the extension of a cap on retail energy prices beyond 2023, which limits the amount suppliers can charge for each unit of gas and electricity.

The bill will also enable the secretary of state to prevent potential disruptions to the downstream oil sector due to industrial action or malicious protests, the government added.

($1 = 0.8375 pounds)

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Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Kim Coghill

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Thomson Reuters

Oversees and coordinates EMEA coverage of power, gas, LNG, coal and carbon markets and has 20 years' experience in journalism. Writes about those markets as well as climate change, climate science, the energy transition and renewable energy and investment.