Oil and gas energy suppliers in the North Sea have been reassured that they will continue to play a crucial role in the government's future energy needs.
David Kidney, minister for energy and climate change, stressed that oil and gas will have a major role in energy production for the foreseeable future even though current supplies may not be able to meet future energy demands.
Speaking at the RenewableUK annual tidal and wave power conference, Mr Kidney pointed out that Britain's electricity supply will probably be generated by a combination of thermal power stations increasingly fitted with carbon capture storage, together with nuclear and renewable cheap energy.
"In the long term we need to make the transition from a system where we rely heavily on fossil fuels to a system which includes nuclear, renewable and clean coal power stations," he commented.
Last month, a new round of offshore licensing was announced, giving a further boost to the UK's oil and gas industries.
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