Tuesday, 19 February 2013

UK electricity shortage - I told you so...

Well, surprise surprise, with the shutdown of a number of coal fired power stations only a few months away now, it's suddenly in the news:

Consumers are being warned they face higher energy bills as the UK becomes more reliant on energy imports. In a speech, Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan will say that falls in Britain's power production capacity are likely to lead to more energy imports and customers paying more. The energy watchdog predicts power station closures could mean a 10% fall in capacity by April alone.
It's not just me that knew this was coming, the Large Combustion Plant Directive, which is the cause of the shutdowns, was proposed in 2001, and came into force in the UK in 2007. So we were warned well ahead of time. There were even reports by organisations such as Deloitte that same year, trying to warn us about what was coming:
This paper indicates that if we are to succeed with the collective objective of ‘securing clean, affordable energy for the long-term’, there is a clear and immediate need for change.
The importance of the energy debate should not be underestimated – future policy will directly affect the welfare and security of our country, our people and our economy. This is a time for clarity of thought and analysis. Let the debate begin – but not take too long to reach a conclusion.
By the way, the LCPD basically said that we either had to clean up our coal fired power stations with flue gas desulphurisation, or only run them for a further set amount of hours, and definitely close them by 2016. Because gas has been pretty expensive in the past few years, coal plants have run more than might have been expected, so they are hitting the running hours limit before the final deadline.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next thing that happens is that we keep running these dirty old coal plants, and just pay whatever fines are due as a result...
Control tower and coal conveyor at Didcot Power Station - geograph.org.uk - 1233992

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