Memo to countries going green: don’t be like the UK. The UK energy sector is in chaos. Natural gas prices have tripled since the start of the year and electricity costs are soaring too. Natural gas crisis highlights the limits of free markets in decarbonisation.
FT 6th Oct 2021 read more »
The Climate Debate: Will nuclear power help us reach net zero emissions? Boris Johnson has set an ambitious climate target for the UK, aiming to have a fully green electricity grid by 2035. And that has raised once again the subject of nuclear power.
Sky News 5th Oct 2021 read more »
A paper by Professor Tim Ambler, published by the Adam Smith Institute today, illustrates the energy supply crunch that’s coming our way as we move away from coal. Ofgem presumes peak winter demand for power of almost 60GW. Nuclear generation peaked in 1995 and by 2035 the entirety of Britain’s current nuclear power fleet will have gone. Only one replacement plant, Hinkley Point C, is under construction. And that will connect to the Grid in 2026, nine years late. Ministers are once more talking about a new nuclear plant in Anglesey, another in Sizewell and a fleet of small modular reactors. Yet it’s nowhere near enough. The Government’s big bet is wind. The PM wants to increase offshore wind production from 10GW of electricity a year to 60GW. Yet Professor Ambler points out that in 2020, there were 207 days when wind produced less than 4GW – one sixth of capacity. Back-up generating capacity is required for when wind doesn’t blow. It’s why Gary Smith, GMB Union chief, says natural gas must remain part of the plan. He says MPs appear to think we can create power from “butterflies flapping their wings”. Allies of Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insist the Government wants to make up for 20 years of inaction by a ‘Who’s Who’ of Energy Ministers. Big decisions have been shunned for two decades, leading to sticking plaster policy making. But the key here will be whether No.10 can stick the course when bills start going up. Let’s remember, David Cameron went from hugging a husky to demanding Ministers axe the ‘green crap’ from energy tariffs.
City AM 6th Oct 2021 read more »