FUEL CRISIS: Forget warnings of panic at the pumps. Britain is set to lose nearly half its electricity in six years

Här kommer en intressant artikel från gårdagens Daily Mail som belyser politikernas och miljörörelsens totala misslyckande vad det gäller energipolitiken i England men de kunde lika gärna beskriva den absurda svenska varianten:

Stäng alla kärnkraftverk och inga nya får byggas, inga nya kolkraftverk får byggas, inga nya gaskraftverk får byggas, inga nya oljekondens verk får byggas, ingen utbyggnad av vattenkraften tillåts etc. etc.

Lägg sedan till ”genidraget” att höja alla energiskatter så mycket som det går och inför ovanpå detta handeln med utsläppsrätter så att det blir 2-3 gånger dyrare för vanligt folk

Och så blir man förvånad från politikerhåll att det blir kaos!

Artikeln finns här:


FUEL CRISIS: Forget warnings of panic at the pumps. Britain is set to lose nearly half its electricity in six years

By Christopher Booker

Last updated at 11:39 PM on 10th June 2008

Time running out for our power network? Our capacity will almost be halved in six years

Every day we hear that Britain is facing a ‘fuel crisis’. The world oil price breaks records every week. The cost of petrol and gas soars. Foreign suppliers of gas and oil are holding Britain to ransom and charging exorbitant prices. The average family, we are told, faces fuel bills of £1,500 a year.

Yet all this pales into insignificance compared with the real energy crisis roaring down on Britain with the speed of a bullet train as, within six or seven years, we stand to lose 40 per cent of all our existing electricity-generating capacity.

Thanks to decades of neglect and wishful thinking by successive governments – and now the devastating impact of a directive from Brussels – we are about to see 17 of our major power stations forced to close, leaving us with a massive shortfall.

Even after 2010, the experts say our power stations cannot be guaranteed to provide us with a continuous supply, meaning that we face the possibility of power cuts far worse than those which recently – largely unreported – blacked out half-a-million homes.

By 2015, when the power stations which meet two-fifths of our current electricity needs have gone out of business, we could be facing the most serious disruption to our power supplies since the ‘three-day week’ of the 1970s.

But the impact of such power cuts on the Britain of today would be far more damaging than they were in the time of Edward Heath 35 years ago.

Compared with then, our dependence on continuous electricity supplies is infinitely greater – thanks, above all, to our reliance on computers.

We are no longer talking just about factories shutting down or lighting our homes with candles. Without computers, our entire economy would grind to a halt.

Scarcely an office, shop, bank or hospital in the land would be able to function. Our railway system would be immobilised. Road traffic would be in chaos as traffic lights ceased to operate and petrol stations closed down.

Yet this is the scale of the catastrophe which may be facing us, thanks to the failure of government to give Britain a proper energy policy.

Scaremongering? Just look at the hard facts. At the moment, to meet Britain’s peak electricity demand, our power stations need to provide a minimum 56 gigawatts (GW) of capacity.

Ten gigawatts, nearly a fifth, comes from our ageing nuclear power stations, all but one of which are so old that over the next few years they will have reached the end of their useful working life.

On top of that, however, we shall also have to shut down nine more major power stations – six coal-fired, three oil-fired – forced to close by the crippling cost of complying with an EU anti-pollution law, the so- called Large Combustion Plants directive.

This will take out another 13GW of capacity, bringing the total shortfall to 22GW – a staggering 40 per cent of the 56GW we have today.

Läs även andra bloggares åsikter om <a href=”http://bloggar.se/om/milj%F6 rel=”tag”>miljö</a>

Waking up at last to the scale of the abyss that is yawning before us, our Government – not least Prime Minister Gordon Brown – has realised the only way to avert this disaster must be to build as fast as possible at least 20 new power stations, gasfired, coal-fired or nuclear.

Part of the cause of this crisis was that, for more than two decades, we went for gas-fired power stations, in the days when we still had abundant supplies of cheap gas from the North Sea.

But that is fast running out. Within 12 years, we shall have to import 80 per cent of our gas, at a time when world prices are soaring – and it would be folly to become over-dependent for our energy on countries as politically unreliable as Mr Putin’s Russia, where gas is produced.

Building new coal-fired stations might have made more sense if we hadn’t closed down most of our own coal industry, and if this didn’t now involve the colossal extra costs imposed by the new EU rules.

As we saw from the recent response to a proposed new coal-fired plant in Kent, any mention of coal-burning has the green lobby screaming up the wall.

As the Government itself has belatedly recognised, by far the most sensible way to try to fill the gap would be to build a new generation of nuclear power stations. But how on earth is this to be done?

There are only a handful of companies equipped to build these nuclear power plants, and countries all over the world are queuing up to place their own orders.

Until October 2006, the British Government itself owned one such firm, Westinghouse, but in an act of supreme folly we sold it to Toshiba in Japan for a knockdown £2.8 billion – and it has 19 new orders on its books already.

Our best hope, it seems, is the state-owned French company EDF (ElectricitÈ de France), which has recently been bidding to buy British Energy, owner of almost all our existing nuclear power stations.

These would provide the most obvious sites on which to build new ones.

France, of course, went for nuclear energy in a big way just when we were retreating from it – having been world leader for 20 years – and currently derives 80 per cent of its electricity from 58 nuclear power stations.

But with such a worldwide demand for new nuclear power, what chance is there that even EDF could provide enough reactors to meet our needs, when building each new one might take ten years or more?

Yet another reason why we have allowed this mindbogglingly serious crisis to creep up on us has been the obsession of those who rule us – both in London and in Brussels – with ‘renewable’ energy.

Incredibly, we are ‘obliged’ by the EU, within 12 years, to generate no less than 38 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources – such as tens of thousands of wind turbines – when currently only 4 per cent comes from renewables, with wind farms providing barely 1 per cent.

As our Government privately recognises, we have no hope of achieving even a fraction of that target (we would anyway need to build a mass of new conventional power stations simply to supply back-up when the wind is not blowing).

Whichever way it is looked at, Britain is threatened by what, thanks to years of dereliction and misjudgment, has become arguably our most serious potential crisis of modern times.

Politically, the blame for this astounding mess lies in all directions – with the Tories, with Labour, with Brussels, with those smugly shortsighted ‘environmentalists’.

But all that matters now is that we put the need to avert this disaster right at the top of our national political agenda.

We need to get on with solving as terrifying a problem as our politicians have ever faced.

Here’s what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below?

Major power outages are happening in South Africa on a daily basis for the same reasons. The South African government were warned of this in 1998 yet they failed to take any action.

How can we prevent it?

– Linda Jenkins, London, 11/6/2008 11:06

Do the same rules regarding renewable energy apply to all EU countries? If so, then presumably France will have to dismantle some of it’s nuclear power stations. Perhaps the UK could buy them! Also, if ever the time was right for the Government to stop putting EU directives first, and act in the best interests of the UK, then we might start to get ourselves out of the present, and future mess, we are in.

– Rob, Chelmsford, Essex, 11/6/2008 09:55

Politicians are so intent on keeping their snouts in the trough that they cannot see this obvious crisis. Six months or a year ago, who foresaw the complete collapse of our economy? The rich are in control, which is why THEY are not bothered? It is indeed with smug satisfaction that I perceive even greater problems when none of us can afford anything. -Starting with Petrol. (I am scrapping my car this month and have given up television as I can’t afford the license fee, which is worthless). This is why I have the time to write this little snippet.

– Edward Ashley-Smith, High Wycombe U.K., 11/6/2008 09:53




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