ERC Research Papers
Electrifying Britain - Forward with Coal, Gas or Nuclear?
Published July 2005
by Tony Lodge, Chris T. Cragg, Malcolm C. Grimston
As featured in European Power News, quoted in length by the Daily Telegraph, by Jeremy Bradshaw in his Chatshow.net column, and blogged on by the pan-european Centre for New Europe Envioronment by Dan Lewis. The forthcoming retirement of nuclear plant and coal-fired generation points to a fast-emerging energy hole in Britain's electricity generating capacity.
To quote the Cabinet Office's Performance and Innovation Unit's Energy Report of 2002:
"The current level of electricity generation in Great Britain is about 70 Gigawatts. In very broad terms we would expect one-fifth of the generating capacity to need replacing by 2010, one half by 2020, three quarters by 2030 and almost all by 2040".
The government however, has not heeded the urgency of its own report. It has overstated the case for renewables, anticipating its emergence as a full-scale replacement for large coal and nuclear power while gas will have to be increasingly imported from abroad, as the North Sea fields are run down.
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