Blackout warning shows ‘dash for gas risks’

Ofgem’s warning about the UK potentially facing blackouts in 2015 highlights the “risks” of George Osborne’s proposed dash for gas. That’s the view of environmental group Greenpeace following new analysis […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Ofgem’s warning about the UK potentially facing blackouts in 2015 highlights the “risks” of George Osborne’s proposed dash for gas.

That’s the view of environmental group Greenpeace following new analysis from the electricity regulator which predicted the UK could run out of energy generating capacity in the next four years.

Earlier this year the Chancellor announced gas as the number one source for the UK and encouraged more investment in the sector.

Doug Parr, Policy Director at Greenpeace said: “This Ofgem report demonstrates the risks of George Osborne’s proposed dash for gas. It sends out a clear warning that we need to reduce demand – the cheapest power station is one that doesn’t need to be built at all. Britain must also expand its connections with other countries to reduce risks and provide new export markets for clean energy.

“Ofgem warns again that relying on gas will leave the UK hooked on volatile imports and continue to push up household bills. The Government must act urgently to stop that happening.”

Energy supplier Good Energy suggested the renewables sector should get more investment which could help tackle the issue.

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of the firm said: “Today’s report is yet another reminder of just how important it is that we get the investment we need to develop the UK’s renewable energy capacity. That’s essential to deliver us all a more secure energy future that’s not only sustainable environmentally but economically too.”

Ofgem also warned about the possibility of rising energy bills in addition to power cuts to which Consumer Focus said the public should get “protection”.

Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at the consumer group said: “…Consumers cannot write a blank cheque to cover the costs of new energy. To avoid this happening the Government and regulator must ensure that the costs passed onto consumers are fully transparent and rigorously scrutinised.

“We also need to see energy efficiency programmes being delivered as widely and effectively as possible. Making our housing stock more energy efficient not only cuts demand and provides a greater margin with our supply – it also provides much-needed reductions in consumers’ bills.”