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Diversity challenge


The sheer scale of new generating capacity needed does not seem to be realised.

By 2020 almost all the nuclear stations will have closed even if the proposed life extension of the AGR plant happens. More significant is the fact that by then two-thirds of the coal fired plant will be well over 50 years old and will need expensive acid gas removal treatment to meet EU requirements.

It makes no commercial sense to install such expensive equipment on old plant with short life. Together, those two capacities account for some 45% of the existing total.

The demand for electricity continues to grow at around 1.5% a year, adding another 25% by 2020.

The only options for large scale generation are nuclear and clean coal stations.

There should be a diversity of supply but renewables, CHP and microgeneration cannot provide enough capacity, even though they could be worth pursuing.

Michael Gammon (F), michael. gammon1@ btinternet. com

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