UK Government Aims for Energy Security with Capacity Reforms
The UK government has set out a number of changes that it says will help the UK to ensure its long-term energy security and tackle a history of underinvestment in energy security.
In an announcement on March 1, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said a package of reforms had been decided after a review of the UK's Capacity Market.
As part of the reforms, the DECC says it will tackle the underinvestment in electricity supply through plans for increased and earlier electricity capacity sales.
"This will mean new energy infrastructure can be built, in particular new gas fired power stations, safeguarding our energy supply so we can better protect families and businesses from avoidable spikes in energy costs," the DECC statement said.
The measures will also help to maintain security of supply and keep pricing to consumers at a manageable level, the statement said.
"By buying more capacity earlier we will protect consumers and businesses from avoidable spikes in energy costs," Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said. “We’re also sending a clear signal to investors that will encourage the secure and clean energy sources we need to come forward – such as gas and interconnectors – as part of our long-term plan to build a system of energy infrastructure fit for the 21st century."
The UK government has previously indicated that it is focusing on the construction of gas-fired power plants to help bridge an impending electricity gas gap caused by coal plant and nuclear plant decommissioning.
However, last month the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) said that that aim was unrealistic. According to a report IMecheE released on January 26, the UK would need to build around 30 combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants in the next decade to bridge the gap, despite having only built four in the last 10 years.