ERC Research Papers
Energy Policy: Which way for the UK?
Published January 2012
by Nigel Hawkins
The lack of a serious energy policy in the UK is leading to the possibility that the country could be left short of a reliable electricity supply in the next five to ten years. This really is something that must be addressed, and quickly, or we will face potentially disastrous consequences that will have an impact on the whole economy.
We are very pleased that Nigel Hawkins, author of previous ERC Research Papers “New Nuclear Build in the UK” and “Aqua Britannia!”, has revisited the question of the imminent dangers facing the UK energy supply in this latest paper.
• Having wasted over a decade in addressing the UK’s energy supply gap - much of which was predictable as North Sea gas reserves ran down - the Government is now faced with devising a strategy to prevent serious risks to electricity supplies from c2015 onwards.
• Despite the plethora of White Papers - including that published in July 2011 - and Consultation Documents in recent years, the fate of future UK electricity provision lies principally with the six integrated energy companies - EdF, E.On, RWE, Iberdrola, Centrica, and SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy). Importantly, the four international companies have both high net debt as well as formidable investment programmes outside the UK.
• To reduce the security of supply risk substantially, the UK has just one priority - to build new base-load generation plant, whether gas-fired, coal-fired or nuclear. With very few exceptions, renewables generation - to which successive Governments have accorded an undeserved priority and massive funds - cannot generate base-load electricity.
Members can download this publication here.
Non-members can purchase ERC publications via Paypal. Please select the title and format (where available) of the publication you wish to order from the drop-down menu below.
If ordering a paper copy, please allow up to 5 working days for delivery. If ordering a digital copy, it will be emailed to you as soon as possible following payment (usually within 1 working day).
The full list to purchase research papers from the archives, and their paper and electronic availabilities, is below.
For older publications, please see our Historical Archive.