Reacting to a new report published today [Tuesday 26 January] from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, warning the UK faces an electricity supply gap, Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Simon Bullock said “Every winter the UK gets warnings about the lights going out.
“But the reality is that what actually causes power cuts is extreme weather knocking out substations and other infrastructure, as happened to 50,000 people in Lancashire last month.
“Climate change is increasing these risks – so to help protect our security we must build a low-carbon electricity system.
“The quickest and safest way to deal with any concerns about power capacity is to prioritise investment in energy efficiency and storage, as the report says, and develop the UK’s massive wind and solar potential.”
Also commenting on the report, Richard Black, Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (pictured) said “It’s impossible to take the conclusions of this report seriously given that’s it’s a mere 5 pages long and contains very obvious flaws in both data and methodology.
“For example, they’ve taken electricity use statistics from a single day, they’ve plugged them into an online calculator with no attempt at proper analysis, and assumed that most nuclear power stations will close by 2025 whereas they’re likely to get life extensions.
“So just because it appears to back up the familiar narrative that ‘the lights will go out’, this report really shouldn’t be given house room.
“However, IMechE is correct in pointing to the dearth of active energy policy, particularly on energy efficiency, which the report concludes is the most sensible way to ensure security of supply, decarbonisation and low, stable price.”