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Solar energy set to close the gap on fossil fuels

October 14, 2009

Mind the generation gap, the Government is being warned. 

The electricity generation gap, that is.  The energy regulator Ofgem’s report last week on the security of the UK’s energy supplies suggests that demand for electricity could outstrip supply within the next few years, leading to blackouts.

Shadow energy secretary Greg Clark blames the Government, saying that it did not act quickly enough in the face of the imminent closing down of outdated coal and nuclear power stations.  “Britain faces blackouts because the government has put its head in the sand about Britain’s energy policy for a decade,” he claims.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change calls the blackouts claims “alarmist”.  However, Ed Miliband seems to acknowledge that the government has been caught short, saying that more intervention is needed rather than leaving the incentive of extra investment to the markets.

Playing catch-up will mean huge investment costs, whether in installing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to coal-fired stations or overcoming the hurdles (including planning delays) facing renewable energy projects. 

Whatever happens, we are going to have pay rather more for our gas and electricity than we’ve been used to.  Even in the least pessimistic (from a financial point of view) of the possible scenarios identified in the report, domestic energy bills are set to rise by around 14% over the next ten years.  Short-term increases resulting from wholesale price surges could be as much as 60%.

The implications?  Well, astute home owners are already turning to solar hot water systems, which are looking an increasingly attractive, cost-effective option in an era of fossil fuel price rises.

If you are heading down this route yourself, our advice is to invest in a highly efficient system – the LaZer2 designed and manufactured by the team here at SolarUK, to be precise.  It’ll pay dividends in the long run.

Solar panels: expect to see more of these

Solar panels: expect to see more of these

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