Win­ter power sup­plies

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters To The Editor -

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

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