A £2.8bn government scheme funded by energy bill payers which aims to keep the lights on in Britain has been condemned as wasteful, expensive and “unfit for purpose” in a damning report.
The claims from the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) comes on the day that one of the UK’s biggest coal-fired power stations, ‘Ferrybridge’, formally closes, with several others threatening to follow.
Experts had already warned this winter that Britain was at its highest risk of blackouts in more than a decade before the announcement of a succession of closures of coal-fired power stations.
The former boss of one of Britain’s biggest energy suppliers, Paul Massara, has warned that the safety buffer separating Britain from power cuts will be uncomfortably slim for up to four years.
In a statement, he says, “the phase-out of coal-fired power stations in the UK is a good thing, for a number of reasons. Coal hasn’t been paying its way for some time now, notably in terms of its impact on air pollution and the climate. The targets we face for keeping levels of global warming within ‘safe’ levels also mean that coal, as the most polluting of all fossil fuels, has to go as quickly as possible, not just here but across Europe.”
It is believed that the demand and supply margin for energy is still very close but the system is more flexible than people think.
While a premonition of energy black out is commendable, more investment policies for clean energy and the introduction of new power saving technologies need to be put in place to rightly secure the country’s power supply and in extension, the environment.