The government has warned that in a reasonable worst case scenario, power cuts will be necessary next winter. How have we come to this in the world’s fifth largest economy?
The answer lies in a directive made by the European Commission and adopted enthusiastically by Labour‘s Ed Miliband as the UK’s first Climate Change Minister. It was taken further by Theresa May when, as Prime Minister, she introduced a Climate Change Act without parliamentary scrutiny which will devastate Britain along the road to net zero.
The government proceeded to demolish nearly all of our coal-fired power stations, including all those along Megawatt Valley which supplied electricity 365 day a year 24 hours a day. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took a trip to Longannet, being piped in and out by a piper, just to see one of the biggest power stations in Europe blown up.
The statutory remit of the Central Electricity Generating Board, and the other Boards, was to produce a surplus of electricity. The first objective of wind farm companies is to produce maximum profits, including delaying payments under the contracts for difference regime. As I write, all the wind farms in Britain are producing 6.1 per cent of the nation’s electricity; this morning it was 3.8 per cent.
When the last deep mine in Britain, Kellingley Colliery, was shut its general manager said we would rue the day we closed down coal mining in Britain.
From relying on reliable British coal to keep the lights on – and of which we have 187 billion tons of reserves – we are now supposed to be relying on a fickle and paltry mixture of wind, solar, and imported gas. All this to avoid increasing CO2, which makes up 0.04 per cent of the Earth’s atmosphere and to which the UK contributes less than 1 per cent of the world’s total.
During the Beast From the East in 2018 our six remaining coal power stations were crucial in keeping the lights on. They worked flat out. Now we have just three left, and the government has delayed their closure because now, at last, it realises that they will be needed this winter in an attempt to avoid disaster. And hospitals, which rely on back-up diesel generators, may struggle to find fuel if further sanctions on Russia prevents the import of that crucial commodity.
When will we have an energy policy based on common sense rather than green ideology disconnected from the real world?
William Loneskie, Oxton, Berwickshire