By Dave Elliott
The UK’s new Capacity Market auction process aims to ensure that there is enough capacity to meet demand by contracting with suppliers to be available when needed. However, it has failed to deliver any new gas projects, as well as failing to back much in the way of demand-side balancing – just 456MW. As with the first round, which gave contracts for 2018-19, it’s ended up mainly just backing old gas, coal and nuclear plants – with £1bn in contracts for 46GW overall for 2019-20. Most only get 1 year contracts, but the 650MW of new small diesel sets have 15 year contracts, and in all £155m. The 220MW of existing diesel get £93m. So much for clean energy!
By Dave Elliott
Do we need more gas-fired power plants? The government says so, with talk of 26–37 GW of new gas-powered generating capacity by 2030, maybe over 40 new plants, despite the legally binding target of 80% cut in CO2 emissions on 1990 levels by 2050. And the government has given the go ahead to a restart of shale gas exploration. Although that is not the same thing as supply, and we do not know how much there will actually be available or when, it is clearly seen as part of the way ahead. Energy secretary Ed Davey says “Gas will provide a cleaner source of energy than coal, and will ensure we can keep the lights on as increasing amounts of wind and nuclear come online through the 2020s.” However, he didn’t sign up to 40 new plants – maybe just 26 GW, with a consultation: www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_157/pn12_157.aspx