I hate to say it, but I told you so ….!

Regular readers of this column are familiar — perhaps sick and tired — of hearing me go on, Cassandra-like, about the energy crisis we’re facing.  We’re already paying over the odds for domestic and commercial electricity, as we fund the government’s lunatic dash for wind, and the “Renewables Obligation Certificates” that mean that turbine companies are farming not wind, but subsidies.
And they’ve heard me say over and over that we risk running out of electricity sometime around 2015, as the wind-farm development programme falters; as we fail to build the mainstream baseload back-up capacity we need; and above all as our elderly nuclear fleet is decommissioned, and as Brussels forces us, through its Large Combustion Plant Directive, to close down perfectly good coal-fired power stations to satisfy its climate alarmism.
To be fair, I wasn’t quite a lone voice.  Others like Professor Ian Fells of Newcastle University were saying the same thing.  But now OfGem itself, the government’s own Quango tasked with regulating the industry (www.ofgem.gov.uk), has issued a report saying much the same things.
They’ve done detailed studies on a range of future scenarios, and they predict that electricity prices will rise in real terms by at least 14% by 2020, and more likely 25%, with a possible worst-case peak of 60%.  The £2000 a year household energy bill could soon be with us, pushing further millions into fuel poverty.
If we wanted to go to Dublin, we wouldn’t start from here.  Ten years ago, this government should have been looking at long-term energy security, and facilitating a programme of nuclear construction.  They should perhaps also have looked at prospects for mining UK Coal in the face of rising prices for imported fuel.  They were utterly derelict in their duty.  They failed to do these things, and we will all pay the price — literally.
What do we need to do now?  Press ahead with new mainstream generating capacity, coal and nuclear, as fast as possible.  Abandon the folly of wind power, whilst investing in research and development of potentially viable renewable technologies — tidal power, bio-mass, solar, waste incineration with energy recovery, anaerobic digestion — and of course efficiency and energy conservation.  Build major new gas storage facilities, to make us a little less dependant on short-term price fluctuations.  Create a tax and regulatory environment to ensure we make the most of our rapidly dwindling North Sea Reserves.  But above all, more nuclear capacity.  And fast.

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1 Response to I hate to say it, but I told you so ….!

  1. Chris says:

    Possibly….. (whatever effect we think CO2 may, or may not, be having on climate). We could also consider using Co2 – Methanol conversion techniques, as being currently developed in Singapore? As a possible add on to Carbon burning power stations.

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