Wednesday, 2 September 2009

'Blackout Britain' on the way?

Britain could experience widespread power cuts within eight years, the Government has admitted.
The country is expected to experience an energy shortfall equivalent to an hour-long power cut for half of Britain over a year. The situation could worsen by 2025, with the shortfall in electricity expected to double.
That could lead to power rationing for the first time since the 1970s when a strike by miners hit coal supplies. The admission comes in a Government report, titled Low Carbon Transition Plan, which was launched in July and published online.
The document sets out a target for "clean" technology - such as wind, wave and solar - to supply 40% of the country's power by 2020. Nine oil and coal-fired power plants and four nuclear plants will be shut down by 2015, as part of anti-pollution measures.
An extra section in the report suggests there will be a shortfall by 2017, when the "energy unserved" level is predicted to reach 3,000 megawatt hours per year.
By 2025 the situation is expected to worsen, with the shortfall hitting 7,000 megawatt hours per year. The Tories accused the Government of "burying its head in the sand".
Shadow energy secretary Greg Clark said: "Britain faces blackouts because the Government has put its head in the sand about Britain's energy policy for a decade.
"Over the next 10 years we need to replace one third of our generating capacity but Labor has left it perilously late, and has been forced to admit they expect power cuts for the first time since the 1970s."

He added: "The next government has an urgent task to accelerate the deployment of a new generating capacity."

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