The closure of older power plants and the slow progress in building news ones is likely to stretch the system “close to its limits”, according to a new report by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
“Although the electricity supply is expected to be sufficient to cover predicted levels of demand, it is likely to stretch the system close to its limits, notably during the winter of 2014-15,” the report says.
Commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, the report says ministers need to:
- introduce interim measures to maintain capacity before energy market reforms are introduced next year
- resolve the reform process as soon as possible
- work with the industry to “foster a constructive dialogue” with the public on energy policy
According to the BBC, Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “There will be a tightness in supply if nothing is done but stuff is being done.
“We’ve opened six new gas plants already. Another is being built. You’re going to hear very soon about our investment in new nuclear power stations.”
National Grid and Ofgem says that two years ago the UK had a buffer between energy supply and demand of 16%, but this winter that will fall to 5% and it could hit 2% by 2015.