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Ofgem warns of power shortages by 2015

Sooner than expected closures of coal-fired power stations could result in blackouts by 2015/2016, energy regulator Ofgem warned on Friday.

Analysis produced by Ofgem this week warned that electricity margins - the amount of spare capacity on the system - could fall from 14% today down to 4% in 2015/16.

Ofgem blames possible blackouts on coal-fired power stations closing earlier than expected under European Union environmental legislation. The work is part of Ofgem’s first annual Electricity Capacity Assessment.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said the government will “consider carefully the implications” of the report and respond formally by the end of the year.

It comes three years after Ofgem’s Project Discovery report, which warned that electricity shortages could lead to steep rises in energy bills.

It is now saying the highest risk of shortages would be sooner than expected because coal-fired power stations would be closing sooner than it had predicted in 2009.

Readers' comments (2)

  • What a surprise! The departrment for Energy and Climate Change must be the most incompetent, apart from the department for Transport perhaps of all Government departments. Energy supply planning does not exist, we will have lost virtually all our coal stations and most of our nulclear ones n 6 years time ( the time decc has ben procrastinating over CCS) What are we to do the? Build lots more gas plants of course.

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  • I agree. The one thing we don't want is yet more gas and oil plants to produce energy. They are cheap, of course, in today's economics, but only if you look at the short term. Long term we should be cutting coal, gas and oil as a source of electrical power and investing in renewables.
    Today's papers (12 October) have news that the company who have broken through in decarbonising of cement production has been sold abroad, through lack of foresight by our esteemed Chancellor. Lack of energy planning and investment in green technology can be laid squarely at Osbourne's door.
    Fortunately a margin of 4% will mean a bit of load-shedding in the winter peak hours, not the catastrophe we will bring on ourselves if we don't stop carbon pollution.
    Peter Gardiner FICE

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