The government has been accused of burying bad news during an election period after publishing a report saying an emergency scheme to keep the lights on could add £38 a year to each household bill. The cash is going towards the cost of a “capacity market” scheme, under which energy companies have been paid to keep their power stations on standby for times of peak demand. A new capacity market auction is planned by the government for next year, following two already held, and the impact assessment report suggests that the cost could be as much as £3bn in 2018, or £38 per household. The government has previously slashed subsidies for wind and solar projects on the grounds that they were driving up consumer bills, but it said the latest initiative would guarantee electricity needs for 2017-18, while protecting against price spikes by securing electricity in advance. Lisa Nandy, the shadow energy and climate change secretary, said the capacity market scheme was a “massive waste of money” because previous payments ended up going to nuclear facilities and other plants that would have stayed open regardless. Catherine Mitchell, a professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, said the scheme highlighted the shortsighted nature of energy policies. “The capacity market system inherently favours fossil fuel generation, damaging the environment while delaying the widespread rollout of a flexible grid based on renewables, demand management, storage, interconnection and more efficient practices, as the national infrastructure commission and Energy UK have recently recommended,” she said.
Guardian 6th May 2016 read more »
Consumers could pay up to £38 more for their energy next year after the government accelerated plans to prevent electricity shortages. Britain is facing the risk of a power deficit over the next few winters as ageing coal and nuclear power stations are retired from service. The government announced plans yesterday to bring forward a new system, under which plant owners will be paid to supply back-up electricity at short notice. According to documents published by the energy department, the cost of the scheme will be £2 billion to £3 billion, enough to push up bills by £28 to £38 per household.
Times 7th May 2016 read more »
Telegraph 7th May 2016 read more »