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Keeping the lights on.

February 13, 2016 5:46 PM

The wholesale price of UK gas has fallen from £52pMWh in Jan 2014 to £35pMWh in Jan 2016 and a story in today's FT [6th Feb] suggests it has further to fall. Financial Times consultants Cornwall Energy report [FT 23rd Jan] that during the cold snap (18-20Jan) National Grid had to pay an average of £91pMWh for emergency, highly polluting, diesel generation. [see more]

On 9th February the Planning Inspectorate enquiry into the refusal of Lancashire CC to grant permission for 'fracking' opens at the Blackpool Football Club Stadium. Meanwhile construction of the proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has been held up because the directors of builders EDF have realised that its finances could bankrupt the company and the project director has resigned. According to a report [FT 30th Jan 2016] the two power stations that EDF are currently building are years late & billions over budget ( one may never get finished), the Chinese are NOT as fully committed as the 'spin' tossed out last October during the visit of Xi Jinping and other investors are backing away. If it ever gets going the power from it is much too far off into the future to deal with the current & looming supply crisis.

So what of Shale? Let's asume it all goes the Governments way. Shale will not come in on time to solve the problem. We have not even started to build the electricity power stations in which to burn the stuff. We wrote on 18th December (and on other occasions) about the energy policy of the madhouse. The worst decision of all made by this breathtakingly incompetent government was to scrap the support for Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) - a technology that could come in on time to be useful by keeping existing coal fired stations open, hugely reducing CO2 emmissions, exploiting UK engineerring expertise & thus creating jobs, and exploiting our capacity in redundant oil wells to store the CO2 thus captured.

Maybe the Tory motivation in getting it so wrong was historical hatred of miners?