We have to en­sure a re­li­able en­ergy sup­ply is avail­able

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

NOW we are into Oc­to­ber, it is in­evitable that we be­come more de­pen­dent on us­ing elec­tric­ity to light and of­ten to heat our homes, so I was in­ter­ested to re­ceive a brief­ing re­cently about the se­cu­rity of the UK elec­tric­ity sup­ply.

There are a lot of changes go­ing on within the en­ergy sys­tem, such as the clo­sure of some of the older nu­clear-fuel power sta­tions, the de­mands of mak­ing sure that fos­sil fuel power sta­tions meet en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards and the de­cline in North Sea gas pro­duc­tion.

Elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and power dis­tri­bu­tion needs to be re­silient be­cause of se­vere weather con­di­tions.

Th­ese may not be the win­ter snow­storms or gales that bring down power lines. A few sum­mers ago, heavy rain­fall and flood­ing in Glouces­ter­shire came close to in­un­dat­ing a large power sta­tion.

All gov­ern­ments have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure that the UK has a di­verse and re­li­able en­ergy sup­ply. In­ter­na­tional ten­sions such as those in­volv­ing Ukraine and Rus­sia could af­fect the sup­ply of gas into Europe.

Some time ago I vis­ited the Mil­ford Haven com­plex in Wales, where liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas is be­ing im­ported from sources in north Africa or the Mid­dle East. How­ever, be­cause the liq­ue­fied gas can be trans­ported more eas­ily than by us­ing pipe­lines, there is the op­tion to use sup­plies from Trinidad or even Malaysia.

Once the tanker has docked and has trans­ferred its cargo to the pro­cess­ing plant, the liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas is re­heated and turned back into gas to be dis­trib­uted through the UK gas pipe­line net­work.

There are also smaller plants else­where in Eng­land and there are gas stor­age sites across the UK main­land, in Eng­land, Wales and Scot­land.

There are many re­forms go­ing on in the elec­tric­ity mar­ket to en­sure that the in­dus­try has the nec­es­sary fund­ing for rein­vest­ment.

Back­benchers like me will be mon­i­tor­ing to make sure that there is suf­fi­cient re­silience and ca­pac­ity, be­cause our busi­nesses, in­dus­tries, with ser­vices pub­lic and pri­vate, as well as our homes, rely on the elec­tric­ity sup­ply. And our en­ergy must be af­ford­able for all.

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