A new report published today (18 Nov 2015) by the Centre for Policy Studies warns that Britain is on the verge of an energy crisis as electricity demand threatens to outstrip supply in early next year for the first time.
Energy analyst Tony Lodge’s report – The Great Green Hangover: How to Cut Bills and Avoid an Energy Crisis – shows that decades of energy policy mismanagement have overseen the shutdown of energy plants vital to Britain’s long-term energy security.
Now for the first time Britain will not have enough dispatchable energy generation capacity to cover forecast demand from next year due to the systematic early closure of power plants.
The average dispatchable capacity remaining by the end of March 2016 is calculated to be 52,360MW – which contrasts with National Grid’s 2015/2016 Winter Outlook demand forecast of 54,200MW.
Over the last 10 years electricity bills have risen by 131% in real terms, up by £705, easily outstripping any other household essential.
High energy prices also burden British industry, jeopardising in particular the jobs of 225,000 workers in manufacturing as businesses consider closure or overseas relocation due to unaffordable production costs.
These businesses are highly energy efficient but nevertheless consume large quantities of energy, which can account for between 20% and 70% of their production costs.
Lodge said: “Britain has lost over 15,400MW (20%) of its dispatchable electricity generating capacity in the last five years as baseload power plants have closed with no equivalent replacement. This month National Grid used emergency measures for the first time to call on industry to reduce its power usage in order to avoid shortages.
“High UK carbon price support should be abandoned before it forces the premature closure of more baseload power plants and thus threatens energy security and affordability.
“And the Government should prioritise energy security alongside its environmental commitments.”
Click here to read the report and proposals in full.