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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Threatened Power Cuts and the Obvious Solution

Ofgem has again assured the public that there will be sufficient electrical generation capacity available to ensure that even on the darkest, coldest day of the winter there will be enough supply.

This is achieved by giving subsidies to companies to keep power stations that they are not normally allowed to use, so that the capacity can be brought into use. This mothballing is achieved at the expense of the customers. The plant is perfectly viable, and could serve for many more years: but it burns coal and thus is in breach of the laws on emissions control.

The otherwise-viable plant represents investment that customers paid for; and the replacement plant will be built only if customers are coerced into paying even higher prices: not only to meet the costs of the plant that is to be built but also to provide a nice cushion of profits for the companies that will have to raise the cash to pay for the construction. Most of the British capacity to build power stations was flogged-off cheap [or just shut down] under the Thatcherite clowns.

The larger coal-fired stations with many years of potential future life should be converted NOW to get their heat source from small nuclear power plant of the kind that Rolls-Royce and its partners have put into submarines for generations. This is safe efficient energy and the capability to make it mercifully still exists!

Of course, it won't be done because insiders did not think of it: so they will immediately look for 'reasons' why it is "not viable".

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