Britain faces serious power shortages in the next four years because of an ageing energy infrastructure, warned the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the United Kingdom’s chief energy regulator.
ageing power plants scheduled for shut down in 2015 and inadequate investment in renewable energy will leave the country at the mercy of a volatile gas market, they said.
Ofgem assessed four energy scenarios and concluded that the UK will have to increase its gas imports by 2015 when coal-fired power plants are scheduled for shutdown. Nuclear power stations meant to replace them will not be built until 2017. The two-year lag time will not be satisfied sufficiently by renewable resources. This makes the country over reliant on a global oil market where there is too much demand and too many supply disruptions.
To play catch up, Britain needs to invest $319.96 billion (£200 billion) in its energy infrastructure.
“Given the massive levels of investment needed, there is a high likelihood of rising consumer bills, especially if oil and gas prices continue their underlying rise since 2003,” the report says.
The good news is that emissions will drop by 12 to 43 per cent below 2005 levels.
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