Derek Simpson, the general secretary of Amicus, has warned that there are serious problems blighting the UK’s electricity generating capacity and that blackouts affecting large parts of the country are a real possibility, as European Directives start to take effect.
Amicus says that the European Carbon Emissions Trading Directive and the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive are curtailing the lifetime of existing power stations. This, combined with the reduction in nuclear generating capacity due to the closure and decommissioning of the Magnox nuclear power stations, will reduce the UK’s ability to generate its own dependable energy supply.
The union is calling on the government to prioritise a wide-ranging review of the UK’s future energy requirements. It also says it is vital that the government take action to invest in clean-coal fired power stations, the best option for providing flexibility in the UK’s electricity supply.
Amicus say that electricity generation from nuclear- and gas-fired power stations is not flexible enough to deal with severe fluctuations in demand during winter months.
Simpson said: “If action is not taken we could be suffering routine blackouts in the next few years and the sort of energy price hikes we have seen in recent weeks because of the increasing reliance on foreign energy supplies from unstable countries.”