Retiring nuclear power stations and a planned coal phase-out could leave the UK facing a huge electricity supply gap by 2025, says the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Does the UK face an electricity supply crisis? Carbon Brief explores the evidence. The IMechE analysis is simplistic and its conclusions are disputed. Its starting point is the UK’s planned coal phaseout by 2025. It also assumes that all of the UK’s nuclear power stations could close by 2025, despite the expectation that life extensions will keep them running longer. Rather than engaging in detailed energy and economic modelling of the likely consequences of these developments, the IMechE report relies on data from a single day last December. Carbon Brief approached energy analysts, industry representatives and government sources to gauge views on the IMechE analysis. Aurora has modelled the impacts of a UK coal phase-out, concluding that the power system could cope with closure by 2025, or even earlier, at minimal cost to consumers. The UK already has a significant pipeline of capacity from offshore wind, additional interconnectors to other parts of Europe and new nuclear power stations, Wronski points out. It also has a capacity market designed to guarantee sufficient supplies. While the scheme has its flaws — encouraging polluting small-scale diesel, for example — there is a general expectation that the UK’s tight electricity capacity margins will improve once the capacity market kicks in.
Carbon Brief 26th Jan 2016 read more »
Amber Rudd last night rejected criticism from the CBI that billions of pounds in investment were being jeopardised by a failure to reach decisions. In a statement issued after a letter from the employers’ organisation called for “clear leadership and stable policy”, the energy secretary hit back at demands from investors for greater certainty to back construction of new power stations, wind farms and other energy projects. She insisted that the government was “taking long-term decisions to tackle a legacy of under-investment” in the UK energy industry and was pushing to “create the right environment for business to invest in clean, affordable and secure energy”. The statement came before Ms Rudd was due to meet Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the CBI, today to discuss concerns that Britain faces a supply shortage after the closure of a s tring of nuclear and coal-fired plants. Eighteen business leaders, including executives from some of Britain’s top manufacturers, Tata Steel, Ineos and ScottishPower, also signed the letter, seen by The Times, which warned of an impending crunch because of a shortage of investment and uncertainty around future subsidies available for low-carbon power.
Times 27th Jan 2016 read more »
The UK Government’s policy to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025, combined with the retirement of the majority of the UK’s ageing nuclear fleet and growing electricity demand will leave the UK facing a 40-55% electricity supply gap, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Renewable Energy Focus 26th Jan 2016 read more »
In response to a letter about energy policy in the Times newspaper on 26 January 2016, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said: The top 10 things the government is doing to secure investment in clean secure energy include Committed to the first new nuclear plant for a generation at Hinkley Point C. It will power 6 million homes for 60 years and also provide 25,000 jobs giving the UK economy a huge boost; Boosting innovation funding to over £500m, including £250m for nuclear innovation and Small Modular Reactors.
DECC 26th Jan 2016 read more »