Telegraph view: A woeful lack of progress building a new nuclear power station underlines the need for fracking. It is difficult to overstate the importance of the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The plant could produce 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity, power reliably available regardless of the weather, unlike so-called “renewables”. As if to illustrate the need for reliable capacity, National Grid earlier this month had to issue an urgent call for extra electricity from suppliers. Otherwise, breakdowns at ageing power plants and the frailty of our electricity import cables might have left Britain so short of power that some lights would have gone out. Given the real risk that Hinkley will fail, the Government must now give more thought to alternative means of meeting Britain’s future needs. Perhaps that will require making more use of gas, and accepting that doing so will make it harder to meet targets for carbon-reduction: does anyone seriously argue that meeting those targets is more important than keeping the lights on? And it will almost certainly mean more fracking. Extracting gas from shale has all but ended US dependence on imported energy and could well transform Britain’s energy landscape. Only one such project is under way, as environmental protests deter investors. Hinkley Point’s troubles should spur ministers to do much more to support the fracking industry.
Telegraph 26th May 2016 read more »