The UK’s war on coal has left the country unable to meet winter energy needs, with the announcement from the National Grid yesterday that Britain might not have enough gas to meet demand.
In 2005, the UK was a net energy exporter, however it is now close to a situation where demand is outstripping supply. This has led to an increasing reliance on importing power from Europe, which in December led to a significant jump in prices following an explosion at a Baumgarten in Austria, further fuelling the British energy crisis during the cold UK winter months.
Recent events will be a reminder for government that while it continues with its green agenda, it must not forgo essential baseload power sources that are vital during times of increased energy demand, such as coal which has stepped in to provide 20% of the UK’s energy output.
In addition, Ministers had been warned by industry leaders that the closure of the UK’s largest North Sea gas storages facility, Rough, would eradicate 70% of the country’s gas reserves – advice that was ignored, leading to a scramble for gas supplies during the recent extreme weather.
As stated in a recent a Telegraph editorial: “Consumers have a right to get what they paid for – and the Government needs to explain how its current, anti-coal energy strategy will see them through future winters.”
The recent shortfall of energy supplies has shown that the government has failed to balance its green agenda with ensuring a steady supply of reliable and resilient power to the grid.