DECC’s Back Up Electricity Generation Plans

The final element of the Government’s energy security strategy was confirmed today. The government has confirmed plans to buy more than 53GW of power from gas plants, energy storage and demand reduction schemes, through a back-up capacity market that is designed to keep the lights on.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announced the amount of electricity generation capacity the Government will procure when it re-introduces a capacity market into the UK later this year.

Following detailed recommendations from National Grid, the Government will procure a total of 53.3 GW of electricity generating capacity. This ensures that energy generation equivalent to seventeen new nuclear power stations will be available. This equates to more than 80 per cent of peak electricity use in Great Britain today – and together with renewables and other generation will ensure we have enough power to meet the demands of homes and businesses in the future.

The first capacity market auction will run this December, for delivery in 2018/19, and is similar to arrangements used in the UK in the decade following electricity privatisation, which are standard practice in many US states and in some EU countries.

Edward Davey said:

“There was a real risk back in 2010 that an energy crunch would hit Britain in the middle of this decade and lead to damaging power cuts.

“But the excellent news is that with today’s announcement we have the final piece of the jigsaw of our detailed energy security plans and can now say with confidence that we have defused the ticking time bomb of electricity supply risks we inherited.

“Britain is a world leader in energy security – leading in the EU and ahead of every other G7 country. Today’s announcement – coupled with our record amounts of investment in renewables and electricity infrastructure, our revival plans for the North Sea and the most healthy pipeline of investment projects in new generating capacity and interconnectors ever – means we will remain a world leader.”

The new Capacity Market is aimed at addressing Britain’s medium term electricity needs, ensuring power supplies towards the end of the decade.

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