Feeds

Tories go nuclear, promise to prop up carbon price

But even Dave can't stop Expected Energy Fail

The essential guide to IT transformation

The UK faces at least two years of peak-time power cuts in five years, despite the Conservatives' pledge to revive nuclear power.

The Tories' energy policy was published Friday, and while a revived nuclear commitment provides some of the promised "energy security", it won't come in time. And, amazingly, the party has committed to propping up the carbon price.

By 2015 the high cost of complying with EU environmental compliance will have taken out a third of the UK's coal capacity - the power companies would rather close than comply - followed by two thirds of its oil powered generating capacity by 2020. Nuclear provides 14 per cent of UK electricity today, but all but one of the current generators are due to close by 2022.

UK energy capacity, by source

That means cuts - or in the ministry's jargon "expected energy unserved" - in just five years' time.

The Tories note that by 2017, the 3GW hour shortfall will mean "a 15 minute power cut for every household in Greater Manchester, every winter night for a month".

When to expect cuts: UK "expected energy unserved" (Source: DECC)

Gas will need to fill the gap - and almost all of it is imported.

The Conservatives have vowed to maintain the EU's 20 per cent renewable target, and reiterated the Millipledge to mandate unproven Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Strangest of all, the party has committed to propping up the price of carbon. Carbon trading is the Kyoto solution to get the energy companies on the global warming bandwagon, and many have indeed signed up.

But the price of carbon is volatile - it's fallen to €1 per tonne, and this week two exchanges (France and the Nordics) were suspended.

"The experience of the ETS has been of such price volatility and market uncertainty that it has had the opposite of its intended effect: it has made long-term investments more risky and therefore more costly, and so less likely to be made," explains the strategy document.

The Tories plan to manage the price of carbon by revising an energy tax, the Climate Change Levy, paid by energy suppliers. This would kick in when the European carbon price fell below the desired level.

Of course, energy companies will pass on the cost to the punters. You can see why Tory party faithful call the front bench "BluLabour".

You can peruse the policy here (pdf). ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?