Tens of billions of pounds worth of investment in power stations, wind farms and other critical energy projects needed to guarantee reliable electricity supplies are in jeopardy because of a failure by ministers to reach key policy decisions, the CBI has warned. In a letter released today by the business lobby group, and seen in advance by The Times, it argues that Britain is facing the threat of a supply crunch because of a shortage of investment and uncertainty around the future subsidies available for low carbon power. The letter, released a day before Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general, meets Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, tomorrow to discuss a looming power generation crunch, calls for stronger leadership, faster decision-making and an end to unnecessary and burdensome red tape to prevent a collapse in investment. “UK industrial firms already pay higher electricity costs than EU competitors, and spare capacity on our grid is getting squeezed out as we phase out older power stations,” says the letter, which is co-signed by 18 executives from some of Britain’s biggest companies, including ScottishPower, Ineos, Tata Steel and BOC. “Getting the investment we need to address this requires clear leadership and stable policy from government. We need more of this in 2016.” The open letter to the government, which suggests that ministers have been dragging their heels on key decisions, comes as a study published separately today by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers reveals the scale of Britain’s impending energy shortage. It suggests that by 2025 the UK could be facing an electricity supply gap of up to 55 per cent because of the planned closure of ageing coal and nuclear plants.
Times 26th Jan 2016 read more »
CBI Letter: The way we power our economy is being transformed. Building on the ambition of the recent Paris Agreement, much more of our energy will come from renewable and other lower-carbon sources. New technologies will also change how we store and use the power they provide. This transition is being led by businesses, who have increased the UK’s use of renewable energy for our electricity supply from 11% to 25% in just three years. Companies are also investing to improve their energy efficiency, and to help consumers manage their electricity costs and reduce overall energy demand – installing smart meters in millions of homes across the UK. But for business and household bill-payers, we need to make this transition while keeping costs affordable and our energy supply secure. UK industrial firms already pay higher electricity costs than EU competitors, and spare capacity on our grid is getting squeezed as we phase out older power stations.
Times 26th Jan 2016 read more »
The UK is facing an unprecedented “energy gap” in a decade’s time, according to engineers, with demand for electricity likely to outstrip supply by more than 40%, which could lead to black outs. New policies to stop unabated coal-fired power generation by 2025, and the phasing out of ageing nuclear reactors without plans in place to build a new fleet of gas-fired electricity plants, will combine to create a supply crunch, according to a new study. “Under current [government] policy, it is almost impossible for UK electricity demand to be met by 2025,” said Jenifer Baxter , head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which published the report, entitled Engineering th e UK’s Electricity Gap, on Tuesday. As many as 30 new gas-fired power stations are likely to be needed to make up the supply deficit, according to the report, but these are not being built. Reforms to the electricity market brought in under the previous coalition government are also not helping to encourage construction. Attempts to encourage energy efficiency, such as the “green deal” to insulate houses, which was scrapped, have not been enough. Although a new nuclear reactor could be built at Hinkley Point by 2025, there is little chance of any more being constructed by that date. In addition, the government has slashed subsidies for onshore wind and solar power, making future growth in those energy sources doubtful. The government has also abandoned plans for pioneering carbon capture and storage technology, which could have given an extension to some coal-fired power plants.
Guardian 26th Jan 2016 read more »
DAVID Cameron’s decision to close coal-fired electricity stations and scale back nuclear investment will lead to massive power shortages and hike energy bills over the next decade, industry leaders have warned. Growing electricity demand will leave the UK facing a 40 per cent to 55 per cent electricity supply gap, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Northern Echo 26th Jan 2016 read more »
Express & Star 26th Jan 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 26th Jan 2016 read more »
Energy Live News 26th Jan 2016 read more »