Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Blind British Europhobia as Times tilts at subsidies to euro power plants

If ever there was a story that perfectly reflected the increasing frenzy of europhobia in the UK it is the story in today's Times newspaper headed ' Britons may foot bill for power plants in Europe'. The story springs from the fact that under the UK Government's new 'capacity mechanism' designed to build up power plant capacity in the UK, the auctions to procure this capacity will also have to be open, heaven forbid, to plant based outside the UK.

Never mind the fact that the only reason that this will happen is if the power plant can supply energy more cheaply than British based plant; never mind the fact that four out of six of our major energy utilities are owned by non-British companies anyway; never mind the fact that trying to build a common electricity market will actually help the UK (and every one else) achieve more secure sustainable energy supplies, it just adds to the mindless anti-EU feeding frenzy that is Britain today. The fact that such a system will help the common good doesn't cut much ice either since increasing numbers of Brits (you'd think by reading the press) would rather cross the other side of the road before helping anything called 'euro'.


Of course it may not be too long before so-called 'back-up' capacity of power stations are not so important. Storage technology is developing, and some potentially revolutionary developments are in the pipeline. An HSBC report indicates that in Germany it  may not be too long before it is at least as economic to supply your power needs for solar pv using energy storage as deriving your electricity supply from the grid. See

In the UK, of course, this may be delayed as the premium prices awarded to nuclear power stations will allow nuclear power to supply power to supplant supplies from solar pv at least until 2058 (the earliest time that the Hinkley C power station will stop receiving its 35 year projected premium price). This decision, of course, is just about to be legitimised by the European Commission (some irony here).

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