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Government launches new dash for gas

The government has launched a call for evidence to inform a strategy that would make gas-fired power stations part of a “secure and affordable” route to a low carbon economy.

The strategy, announced on 17 March and confirmed in the Budget, aims to set out the role of gas in the electricity market; attract investment in gas generation; ensure energy security; meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets; and make the best use of the nation’s natural resources.

The call for evidence provides a set of questions to help contributors frame responses. The questions will also be used in discussions with industry and other stakeholders in advance of the publication of the strategy in the autumn. The call for evidence is open until the 28 June.

Call for Evidence questions:

What are the main strengths and weaknesses of gas generation in helping deliver a secure, affordable route to decarbonisation through to 2020 and then by 2050?

What role can gas fired generation play in the future and what level of gas generation capacity is desirable?

What are the key factors driving the economics of investing in new gas-fired power generation and how are these factors likely to change?

What barriers do investors face in building new gas generation plants in the UK? What are the key regulatory uncertainties that may prevent debt and equity investors making a final investment decision in gas generation and supply infrastructure?

Are there any other policy issues that need to be addressed beyond the Government’s proposals for the capacity mechanism and the EPS?

Given a continuing role for gas and the potential for increased volatility in gas demand, to what extent is gas supply and related infrastructure a barrier to investment in gas fired generation? What impact will unconventional gas have on the case for investing in gas generation and the supporting infrastructure?

Readers' comments (2)

  • For years we have had cheap nuclear electricity. britain led the world in nuclear power.

    now we buy it from an ever expanding chain of french stations.

    and it is the french who are building the trial fusion plant - not us. gone another mega chance to make mega money.

    and we could have sold small nuclear power generators round the coats of africa ... in ex nuclear subs....

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  • Nuclear power never was cheap and new nuclear even less so. This is clearly acknowledged by nuclear experts such as Dr.W.Nuttall, one of our own leading experts in the field of Nuclear Power and Energy Policy.

    As for the French Government, electricity costs will increase with investment in new nuclear power stations and electricity is not cheap their either!

    That does not mean that it is not a solution, only that the days of cheap energy are over and this is normal. We are now starting to price in the externalities that where omitted for decades. WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN UNDERPAYING FOR ELECTRICITY.

    GAS IS SEEN AS A TRANSITION TECHNOLOGY. The idea is if we replace all coal power stations with gas then that substitution goes a very long way in helping us achieve medium term emissions reduction targets giving us more time to develop clean sources of energy supply. THIS IS ON THE PREMISE THAT WE CLOSE ALL COAL POWER STATIONS (in line with their current design lives) AND DO NOT ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW ONES.

    Finally, recent publications such as 'Sustainable energy: Without the hot air' and 'Sustainable materials: with two eyes open' clearly demonstrate that we cannot achieve emissions reduction targets without reducing energy consumption.

    Their is a considerable body of research that demonstrates that energy efficiency does not achieve reductions in energy consumption without an increase in price (look up: rebound effect / Javons Paradox).

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