Tories plan roadside rechargers in 'green revolution'

Britain could have a network of roadside plug-in recharging points for electric cars under Conservative plans for a "revolution" in green energy, according to David Cameron.

A Tory government would also give every household the right to £6,500-worth of insulation to cut their gas and electricity bills by a typical £160 a year, he said.

And it would invest £1bn in an interactive national electricity grid with smart meters in every home, allowing much more efficient energy use and easier access to renewable power sources.

Cameron said the Tory vision for a low-carbon future, set out in a policy document would deliver energy that was "greener, cleaner and also cheaper" without forcing voters down the path of "hair-shirted environmentalism".

The package would allow Britain to meet its climate change target of 80 per cent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while creating hundreds of thousands of "green collar" jobs and guaranteeing national energy security by reducing dependence on fossil fuels from the Middle East and Russia, he said.

The proposals won a warm welcome from environmentalists, still smarting over the government's decision to give a green light to a third runway at Heathrow.

Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: "With Gordon Brown's green credibility in tatters following the Heathrow decision, the Tories seem to be taking a leaf out of (US President elect Barack) Obama's book and looking to stimulate the economy by boosting the green industries of the future."

A Tory government would require all new coal-fired energy plants to be fitted with carbon capture and storage technology and introduce new biogas plants using rubbish and farm waste to generate power to heat homes.

It would be "selfish, irresponsible and morally wrong" not to make the investment now to ensure future generations are spared the effects of global warming, said the paper.

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