Winter power supplies
SIR – Jillian Ambrose’s article (Business, November 18) on the risk to the security of gas and electricity supplies this winter was admirable.
However, it overlooked the fact that, during the “Beast from the East” last winter, our gas supplies coped – though only just – because coal-fired stations were able to meet 23 per cent of electricity demand.
That will not be possible this winter, as some large coal stations, especially Eggborough, have been closed. Nevertheless, coal has recently been providing over 15 per cent of demand on some days. This gives the lie to the Business Secretary’s claim that Britain “has consistently enjoyed a high level of gas security over the last decade. This is the upbeat lesson that I take from last winter’s Beast from the East.”
The glacial pace at which we are evaluating the potential of British shale gas is also leaving us increasingly at the mercy of imported gas. Kenneth Fergusson London SW11