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European pollution laws have meant that some of the oldest dirtiest coal power plants in Britain have had to shut down. With little excess capacity and few new large projects set to come on line anytime soon Alistair Buchanan, from the energy regulator Offgem, has stated that Britain will become more and more reliant on foreign gas.
This will inevitably cause household fuel bills to rise, although by how much is impossible to predict; Japan, who relies heavily on imports, pays 60% more for its natural gas.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister has warned that the public may note a rise in bills within the next two years as our reliance on gas peaks just at the time when global prices are expected to rise.
The large investments made in developing new wind, solar and nuclear sources of energy generation will not start to begin supplying the grid with electricity until 2020, after the expected boom in energy bills.
Mr. Buchanan explained that “we’ll lean on gas and gas will account for about 60 per cent of our power station needs instead of 30 per cent as it does today.
And in order to get hold of that gas we’re going to have to go shopping around the world. And just at the time that we’re tight on power stations, the world is going to go tight on energy gas prices. So you’ve got a double squeeze.”
Greg Barker, the climate change minister, amongst others, blames Labour for failing to tackle the problem of diminishing energy generation capacity “for a whole decade” whilst it was in charge.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com